Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interviewing and Career Fair Tips

Whether you are looking for an internship, part-time job, or your first job out of college, your first impression to a Human Resource Representative or a Recruiter is everything.  At my previous job, I would assist our HR Department with Career Fairs.  A horrible first impression from a potential candidate would result in the word “Trash” written on the back of their resume.  But do not worry.  It is very easy to make a great first impression during an interview or at a career fair.  Just follow these simple rules:

1.)  Have A Good Resume.  Not having a resume when looking for a job is like Burger King not having any burgers.  This is an absolute disappointment for employers.  On the internet, there are hundreds of examples of great resumes; hundreds of great resume writing tips; and many resume writers (for a fee).  Therefore, there is no excuse.  You can write a “Chronological” resume, which will highlight your past work experience in timeframe order.  If you do not have any work experience, you can write a “Functional” or “Targeted” resume, which will highlight your relevant skills or knowledge needed for that specific job, such as typing, computer skills, classes, scholarships, or community/volunteer involvement.  A “Combination” resume accomplishes all of the above.

2.)  Show Confidence.  Whether you are confident or not, it does not matter if you are not at least portraying this characteristic.  Exemplify confidence by introducing yourself with a greeting and your full name; give a firm handshake; and always make eye contact.  In addition, utilize the representative’s name frequently when speaking.  This will always keep their attention (e.g. “Yes Janice.  I always believed that...”).

3.) Use Specific Examples When Answering Questions.  Defining success by stating your future goals is a good response.  However, defining success by also providing one or two specific examples of how you had to push yourself to obtain previous goals is great and impressive.  As long as these examples are relevant, they could be either business related or even personal.   Remember, you are trying to convince the representative that they should hire you. Carefully thought out examples and details provide lots of convincing within a short time frame.

4.)  Wear Proper Business Attire.  Employers are always scoping out potential candidates’ attire.  So always dress to impress; and when in doubt keep it conservative.  If by chance you cannot afford such attire, do not be afraid to borrow from a friend or relative.  Also, even a little cash goes a long way at the Goodwill or a local consignment shop.  These stores typically have good quality merchandise at a very cheap price.

With the current high unemployment rate, many individuals are heavily competing for available jobs.  Therefore, make sure you are doing everything you can to separate and distinguish yourself from the rest.  Flinkey wishes you the best!

Next Topic:  Time Management in College

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