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Research…Or lack thereof

Entry by Nicole Goble, Director of Recruiting and Development in the financial services industry in Zionsville, IN

The biggest mistake students make when applying and interviewing for an internship and/or a full-time position is the effort spent researching the company and the career.  We are very lucky to live in a time that allows us to access almost any piece of information we wish at the click of a button – this also leaves little room for employers to empathize with candidates who lack the preparation. 

There are many ways students search for internships, including and certainly not limited to, career fairs, campus career centers, club and class company presentations, Indiana INTERNnet, and many others.  The mistake lies when the proper research is not done prior to applying for these positions and then when getting the first interview, going into that first meeting. 

To make the best …

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Career Fairs 101: Avoid the Herd Mentality

Entry by Pat Patterson

After attending a few career fairs this fall, it seems like a lot of students attend career fairs with a group of their friends.  That in itself poses no problem, but showing up to a career fair with your friends and walking around the career fair with your friends are two different things.  What I am getting at is – it is important to navigate your way through a career fair alone.

First off, think about the reasons that you may walk around a career fair in a group.  The group acts as a ‘crutch.’  You may be nervous, unconfident, or unsure who to approach at a career fair, and your friends may make you feel more comfortable.  And that is how employers may perceive such a group of students – recruiters may see such students as unconfident, unsure, or unprepared (not necessarily admirable traits for …

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Career Fairs 101: After the Career Fair

Entry by Pat Patterson

Students

After a career fair (From the 2010 September INTERNnetwork):

Jot down your notes and organize the information you collected (including contact information – it is a good idea to note where you met certain individuals and what you talked about), write thank you notes to those you met, apply for positions you are interested in, and follow up with employers about applications you submitted.

Remember, making a positive impression with people greatly influences your internship and career search.  When recruiters sift through resumes and decide who they plan to interview, you are more likely to stand out if the recruiters remember who you are and the interest you showed in their particular organization. 

Employers

After the Career Fair (From the National Association of Colleges and Employers NACE)

Post-fair activities do help with your recruiting efforts. Here are some ideas:

Host a networking …

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Career Fairs 101: Selling Your Company to Potential Interns

Entry by Pat Patterson

From the 2010 September INTERNnetwork:

Now that you have established a need for interns in your organization, you need to make sure you have students that are interested in your internship opportunities.  And although having too many interested candidates may not be a bad thing, it is important that the candidates you attract are qualified for your positions and are the right fit for your organization. 

Conveying a clear, concise message about your organization and its mission is vital in attracting the type of talent you would like to fill your internships.  Here are some tips on how to sell your company to interns, specifically at career fairs:

Have a section of your website dedicated to your internship opportunities, including detailed descriptions, which you can direct interns to visit (the link can be included on any literature students are provided before the career fair), attend those …

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Career Fair Game Plan

Entry by Pat Patterson

Last Friday I posted an entry about how to prepare for a career fair.  You also need to lay out a game plan of the organizations you will visit and the order in which you will visit them.  I would recommend visiting those organizations you are less interested in first to build up your confidence when you speak with those recruiters from organizations you are more excited about.

Here is some advice to help guide you during the career fair:

DURING a career fair:

Arrive early, dress professionally, have your resume, portfolio, and a pen ready, proceed to the organizations that you identified you are interested in, be aware of your posture and body language, relax, be confident, be approachable – SMILE, offer a firm, confident handshake to recruiters with eye contact, execute your *elevator speech, ask any questions you prepared, and make sure to collect …

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