In marketing yourself at the job fair, you must focus on skills rather than just your major. To help you begin to focus on marketing your skills, do the following exercise. Identify the person with the correct college major. Some majors will be used more than once.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
2. Ashton Kutcher
3. Brad Pitt
C. Biochemical Engineering
4. Sandra Day O'Connor
5. Tiger Woods
Focus on all of the skills that you have developed through academic study, work experience, volunteer activities, life experiences, and organizations. Reflect on skills as they relate to your career field and to the needs of the employers in your career field. In looking at the above matches, reflect on how the majors relate and how they enhanced the chosen career fields of the individuals. Answers are found at the end of the second page. How have college majors influenced their career paths? Using this exercise, reflect on your own skills and how they contribute to your success and to your career path. How does your major help you develop skills that are essential to your chosen career?
The more focused and clear a person communicates skills and choice of career field, the more effective the individual will be in the job search. It is important to focus on skills you have developed over your lifetime and then market these skills effectively to employers.
Use Career Services Web site for date, time, location and participating employers. To make the most of UA Career Days, review handouts, practice your One Minute Commercial and adhere to Career Fair Tips From A to Z.
Attend Career Services Workshops on Making the Most of a Job Fair, Resume Writing, Interviewing, Employment Letters and any others of interest to you.
Be at your best in marketing yourself. Be prepared by being well dressed and communicating your enthusiasm and professionalism. Employers will take you more seriously and will probably spend more time with you if you are well groomed, well prepared and highly motivated.
Communicate your skills in a clear, concise manner. Take time to self-assess and focus on your skills, values, and interests. Interests are those areas that energize you. Create a capsule biography that reflects your unique skills as they relate to your career field. You may create several and practice saying them. Practice your handshake, a friendly smile and presenting your capsule biography.
Develop a targeted resume. If you are seriously interested in more than one career field, you may develop two or three targeted resumes. When taking resumes to the event, make sure they do not become wrinkled. Bring more resumes than you think you will need.
Emphasis is placed on developing STAR statements: Situation, Task or role, Action you performed, and Results, how you made a difference either qualitatively or quantitatively. Use these in your oral communication and in your resume.
Focus on job specific, adaptive and transferable skills and the language of the career field in your resume and when communicating with employers. Use the above STAR statement technique.
Grooming includes well pressed, appropriate clothing as well as clean fingernails, and hair that is clean and neat. The more professional the attire, the more employers will take you seriously.
Haphazard preparation will get you nowhere. Keep yourself organized and focused!
Investigate and identify employers who will be attending the job fair by using Career Services Web site. Research them to know which organizations are of most interest to you.
Job titles are obsolete. There are over 12,000 job titles and they vary by industry and organization. Focus on skills required and job related functions (i.e. managing, organizing, communication skills), not job titles in evaluating who is of most interest to you.
Knowing which organizations are of most interest to you will help you rank them according to the order of importance to you.
Learn more about those companies by researching. This will help you in developing your marketing strategies.
Manage your time at the job fair by highlighting those companies of most interest to you in one color and highlighting those of secondary importance to you in another color. Start with those of most importance to you and then with those of secondary interest to you.
Noise will be an issue for you unless you remain focused. The area will be packed with participants vying for attention.
Organization is essential if you are taking more than one targeted resume. Place targeted resumes in folders labeled for easy retrieval. If you spend time “digging around” for them, the employer will lose interest.
Prepare and plan to meet with employers who are not on your primary or secondary list. You may be pleasantly surprised regarding opportunities for you with these organizations.
Questions you prepare and ask employers should be developed to also inform the employer of your knowledge about the organization and industry.
Rejection. If rejected, ask yourself what you can do to prevent rejection from other employers. Do not allow it to distract you or become less confident. Self-confidence is essential. Always reflect on what you can do better by evaluating your experiences as you go through the job fair and afterwards.
Seek further information regarding the appropriate person in the organization to contact if an employer seems uninterested in you.
Time is of essence, so arrive early in the day when the recruiters are the most refreshed and may not be as busy as they will be later in the day. You will also have time to meet with more employers.
Utilize the opportunity to collect business cards from everyone you meet. Make brief notes on the back regarding important points you want to remember about the employers. This will be helpful in your thank you letters and future follow-up. Do follow up with thank you letters! Most employers will expect you to express your interest by following up with them. If you are told to go to their Web site to register, use the knowledge gained from the event to successfully market yourself.
Value your skills and experience if you want others to value them.
Win at the job fair by following the tips provided.
Xpect to be a winner by having a positive attitude, enthusiasm and communicating in a clear, concise manner.
You are the only one who can successfully market you!
Zoom into preparing, communicating and following up with employers and making the most of the event.
Answers: 1. d; 2. c; 3. a; 4. a; 5. d
© 2006 Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University and Career Services. If duplicating this and other Career Services materials, please cite ASU Career Services as the reference source.