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Career Corner: Tips to impress potential employers

Wendy Lycett, Career Services Consultant | Interrobang | News | February 13th, 2006

Now is the time for Fanshawe students to start preparing to meet with the employers who will be on campus at Career and Summer Job Fair 2006. On Wednesday, February 15, 2006 approximately 91 companies will be in ‘J' Gymnasium from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to promote jobs and career opportunities to Fanshawe College students and graduates.

In February 2005, 85 companies and agencies sent representatives to attend Career Fair 2005 and provided over 3,000 students with career and job information. As a follow-up, each employer was asked to provide feedback, in writing, as an evaluation of how Fanshawe students presented themselves. What follows is a synopsis of the feedback which may be of help to you in preparation to attend this year's event.

Employers were asked to give some written “DO and DON'T” suggestions for Fanshawe students with the aim of improving student Career Fair behaviors. The following are some of the main comments received.

“Come prepared as if you are going to an interview.”
“Be prepared as if you are applying for a position.” “If you are going to hand out resumes, dress as if you are going to an interview.” Several employers commented that students attending the career fair should have paid closer attention to professional appearances and, as one said, “...not wear track pants, crop tops or display visible body piercing.” One employer summed it up by adding “Don't dress down, business casual at least. First impressions say a lot.”

“Have a resume with you.”
“Come prepared with several resumes to hand out.” “Very few students had resumes.” Employers advised students to bring resumes or commented that students weren't prepared with resumes. However, one employer cautioned students to inquire about careers first and not just offer a resume without knowing about the jobs available. Another employer suggested students should ask how the company accepts applications before offering resumes, while another suggested students could also have business cards to hand out in place of a resume at events like this.

“Introduce yourself.”
“Approach the booth to sell yourself -we had to approach students to give out information.” “Do introduce yourself and say upfront what program you are in.” “Don't just ask for the freebies, approach us for information first!” Several employers felt students should prepare ahead to greet employers. One employer expressed how delighted they were with students who offered to shake hands, especially as they finished talking with them— they commented on what a positive first impression this makes. Although one employer found some students to be too aggressive and demanding to know what the employer would offer them, several others noted that Fanshawe students were “very keen, polite and interested.”

“Don't be afraid to ask questions.”
“Do ask questions.”Many employers offered the same advice in one way or another. One employer encouraged students by saying “Don't be shy.” Others felt students should have read the Career Fair Interrobang insert (published again this year in the February 6th edition of the Interrobang or available through Career Services in F2010) and researched employers to come up with questions to ask ahead of time. One employer offered this positive suggestion about questions: “Don't just ask if we are hiring!”

All of the comments above were made with the best interest of Fanshawe students in mind, in hopes of helping to improve students' skills and prospects for the future. By sending representatives to Career and Summer Job Fair 2006, companies and agencies are demonstrating a high level of interest in students and graduates of Fanshawe College programs. So why not come prepared?

If you would like personal assistance in preparing for your next employer encounter, please contact Fanshawe Career Services in F2010 or call us at 452-4294 to make an appointment to speak with the consultant responsible for your program.
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