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Prepare for OTC’s Job Fair with these helpful tips

The OTC Job Fair is coming up on Wednesday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the OTC Springfield Campus in Lincoln Hall, room 211. The event is free and open to the public. Get details here.

As a job-seeker, you’ll want to make an all-out effort to meet with every employer who has the potential to hire you. In order to make that happen, you will need to be prepared, so check out these helpful job fair tips thanks to College Central Network.

Prior to the Event

Think about your strong points, your goals and where you want to go within the company. Prepare a “one-minute commercial” detailing your background and aspirations.

Prepare your résumé! If you need assistance in preparing a résumé, schedule an appointment with OTC Career Services.

Understand how your skills (or the ones that you want to develop) relate to the organizations and employment opportunities that are available.

Thoroughly research your core companies and gain background information upon which you can base your conversations with the company representatives. Check with Career Services and the company webpages for the information that you’ll need to prepare in advance for the event.

Prepare your own event kit complete with résumés (enough for all employers that you want to talk with, plus a few extras). Other items that support your interests and abilities such as references, written work or a portfolio can also be helpful.

Day of the Event

Dress the same as you would for a job interview. You want to present the best image possible — jeans, sweatshirts and backpacks won’t cut it. Avoid excessive jewelry and perfume. You will only have a few minutes to make an impression as a job candidate. Positive first impressions are critical.

Turn off your cell phone and other electronic devices. Ringers, alerts and phone conversations are distracting and disrespectful. Let the employers know that they are your main focus.

Arrive early and map out your strategy. Who will you talk with first? Lines will be longer for some employers than they will be for others. Plan accordingly and don’t waste valuable time by standing in line.

Keep an open mind and don’t miss out on opportunities due to lack of information or effort. You may want to tour the event and make contact with all the participating organizations to learn more about them and what they have to offer, but visit your core companies first.

Introduce yourself to company representatives in a positive and confident manner; offer a firm handshake. Include your name, degree, major and the year you are graduating.

Tell the recruiter about your job interests. For example:

  • Discuss a particular career or job with that organization
  • Learn more about the organization and available opportunities
  • Learn more about what someone does in a particular career
  • Discuss internship or summer job opportunities

Present your résumé and be ready to discuss your background, qualifications and career goals. Ask what you should do to apply for a position with them.

Think of questions that you have regarding your area(s) of interest. Take notes on the answers you receive. Some questions might be:

  • What are common career paths within your organization?
  • What is the training program for new hires?
  • What do you look for in a candidate?
  • What advice do you have for applicants?

Make sure you obtain each representative’s name, title, address, email address and phone number so you can follow up with them. Collect literature and business cards whenever possible and ask the representatives when you can expect to hear back from them.

Be sure to take notes after each table. Write down your thoughts about the company, the recruiter, your chances, follow-up strategies, to-do list, etc. Keep this information organized.

After the Event

You should make it a point to follow up with a letter expressing your interest in the company and in what they have to offer. You may want to include an updated résumé, a link to an electronic portfolio, or provide better answers to specific questions asked during the event. Thank you/follow up letters should be received by the employer within two to five days after an event.

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