The UNH Career Fair is upon us. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, 240 businesses and organizations will gather at the Whittemore Center to meet potential employees — that’s you! Are you prepared? The fine folks at UNH Career and Professional Success have a multitude of resources and advice at your disposal. We’ve compiled a few of the most important tips here.
1. Polish Your Resume
Having a one-page résumé is crucial (for most industries, but not all). Get your most valuable experiences and attributes on paper, and be concise — employers don’t want to have to read through a lot of clutter.
“Make sure your editing and consistency is flawless,” says CaPS career counselor Riannon Nute. “Too many mistakes and employers will move on to the next applicant.”
Don’t have a résumé yet? CaPS offers several templates that you can tailor to your experience.
2. Print and Upload
After you’ve perfected your résumé, upload it to Wildcat Careers, where you can search for jobs and internships as well as schedule career counseling appointments. Once you’ve uploaded your résumé, you can make it visible to recruiters from the companies you are most interested in.
Print several copies of your résumé and bring them with you to the fair. Plan to hand at least two copies to the employers behind each table you approach. Bring some extras for backup, as you never know how many employers will be at the table to meet you.
Pro tip: Having a printed résumé to hand off makes for a great ice-breaker when approaching an employer. For example: “My name is ________. I sent my résumé through Wildcat Careers, but I also brought a hard copy for you today.”
3. Do Your Research
Employers need to see that you care about their company, not just about getting a job. Before the fair, research the companies that interest you and figure out who you will be talking to at the fair. You should arrive at the table knowing what the company does, what its mission is and how you would fit into it. Having some questions for the employer is a plus, too.
Who should attend Tuesday's Career and Internship Fair?
It's not just for seniors, says CaPS career counselor Riannon Nute. She suggests graduate students, alumni and even juniors, sophomores and first-year students see what the fair has to offer.
Are you a fair first-timer? Take advantage of CaPS' First Time Career Fair Tours.
4. Practice Your Pitch
Your pitch is a radically summarized version of you — your skills, interests, experience and goals. You’ll deliver your pitch in person to potential employers at the fair. The goal is to give the employer a snapshot of “you,” not a biography. Keep it under a minute — between 10 and 30 seconds is best.
What to include in your pitch:
- First and last name
- Major(s)/minor(s) and year in college
- Career or internship interests
- Prior relevant experience
- Relevant skills
See a sample pitch script, then create your own and practice, practice, practice!
5. Embrace (and Prevent) Nerves!
Preparation is key to controlling nerves. Having a solid résumé and practiced pitch will help you feel confident going into the fair. Still, you might feel some jitters, and that’s OK, says CaPS’s Nute.
“A lot of people need to just to take a step back, take a deep breath and slow down,” she says.
Pro tip: Don’t go to your top-pick company first. Visit the tables of some other companies so you can practice your pitch a few times before approaching the employers you are most interested in.
6. Follow Up
Your work is not finished when the fair ends. Be sure to ask for the business cards of every employer you speak with so you can follow-up with a written note (or cover letter!). After meeting with a potential employer at their table, go off to the side and jot down a couple of notes about your conversation — these notes will help you craft your follow-up.