On October 11, USG is having an on-campus job and internship fair for humanities and social science careers. This is an awesome chance to find out about potential jobs in your field of study and talk to people who work in your field of interest. But job fairs, interviews, and recruiting sessions can be also really intimidating.
Personally, the idea of walking into a room full of people awkwardly mingling in business casual clothing is something straight out of my nightmares. But even if you’re not much of a people person, you can still #win when it comes to job or grad school fairs and interviews. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years that can be helpful in making a good impression on interviewers:
- Bring a polished resume. You can work with the wonderful folks at USG’s career center to develop a top-notch resume that outlines all of your skills and experience to give to potential employers to help them remember you after the event.
- Dress to impress. Your appearance can speak volumes to a potential employer, so it’s worth bringing that suit out and taking a shower, even if you feel overdressed.
- Write a 30-second script to use to introduce yourself. Prepare a short overview of yourself to open up conversations with. Include your major, year in school, what career field or job you aspire to, and what you’re looking for right now (an internship, a part-time job, experience in a certain skill area, etc.)
- Be an active listener. Even if you don’t talk a lot, you can convey interest to a potential employer or admissions officer by nodding, smiling, making eye contact, and saying “yes” or “hmm” from time to time. (Pro-Tip: This can win you brownie points if you do it in every day conversation…People like feeling like they’re being heard!)
- Send a follow-up email afterwards. If you’re really excited about an opportunity, send a short note thanking the person you spoke with for their time and expressing your interest in the opportunity once again. This shows you’re committed enough to go the extra mile and puts your name in the employers’ brains again.
- Come up with a couple of potential questions to ask your interviewer. This is a great way to make conversation and impress an interviewer. Questions like, “What is your organization’s mission?”, “What would a typical day look like working in this position?” make you look better and help you gauge whether the company is a good fit.
These are just a few helpful hints. For more help with your job search, check out these resources:
- USG’s Career & Internship Services Center offers interview coaching, resume and cover letter help, and job search assistance. They also have a ton of online resources to help with your career preparation.
- Fall Semester Career Search Events at USG, including events to help overcome public speaking anxiety
- The Center for Counseling and Consultation offers career counseling and can help you learn breathing and mindfulness techniques to combat pre-event jitters and post-event freak outs.
Best of luck…I’m rooting for you!