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How to prepare for Career Fair

By Riana Braselman
On September 12, 2017

As the annual event of Career Fair approaches, the Office of Career Services gives advice on a few ways students and alumni can start preparing to meet potential employers. From brushing up on professional etiquette to reviewing resumes, Career Services has provided a list of suggestions on how to properly prepare to get the most out of Career Fair before it is held on Sept. 21.

“Student preparation basically depends on what students hope to accomplish by attending Career Fair,” said Assistant Director for the Office of Career Services Brittany Bacques. “There’s really two main different reasons to attend: one, for those students who are looking for an internship or full-time job. If they’re graduating or alumni who have graduated, they’re job seeking, so they’ll go in search of a job, network with employers that are hiring. The other focus is students and alumni can go to merely build their network, build relationships, connect with employers from different companies in the region, even national companies.”

Bacques recommended attendees to create or update and revise their resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

“We encourage every student who comes to have a resume to hand out to employers,” said Bacques. “That’s how employers collect information, get their student and alumni contact information, experience, educational background. We also encourage students to update their LinkedIn profile because so many recruiters use LinkedIn now. We’re in the digital age, and it’s a great resource for companies to seek candidates and post jobs.”

For students and alumni looking for a way to get a second opinion on their resumes or are seeking help on how to construct one, Career Services offers a Walk-in Resume Review service, available on Sept. 4 to 19 Monday through Thursday at 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Services like these are available throughout the year.

“We actually offer those a couple of times each semester,” said Bacques. “We have online resume reviews all the time. We offer that all year round. They can submit their resume to us via email. A staff member in our office reviews your resume. That’s electronic and available all the time. Walk-in hours are just sort of a quick review in that we can talk to you guys. We really want to make sure you understand what you’re writing and how you can make it better. Or maybe you have a great resume, and we’ll just give you some tidbits and tricks.”

Bacques explained the qualities that go into a good resume and what employers might be looking for.

“Basically, they want to see that the most important thing for students to have to see that they’re employable,” said Bacques. “A lot of people call them transferable skills, but really they’re necessary skills for a good worker, for a good work ethic. And that’s teamwork, good communication skills, both interpersonal, verbal, written, being able to problem solve and critically think. Those go across fields.”

For students and alumni looking to learn more about how to conduct themselves in a professional environment, Career Services will host a Professional Etiquette Seminar instructed by management and business instructor Anna Bass on Sept. 13 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm in Garrett Hall room 14. 

“Anyone who attends Career Fair is going to want to make a good first impression to connect with employers, so many students just need a refresher or need some help relearning what that means to be professional or just have that business etiquette,” said Bacques. “All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend. We give examples of different types of business dress. She talks about interviewing etiquette, how to job search, how to conduct yourself at Career Fair, different business functions, when you start working in the field and going to interviews and meetings and those sorts of things. It’s a pretty general overview of business etiquette and professional presence.”

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