Rock the Career & Internship Expo!
Here are 4 things you can do before the Career & Internship Expo to best prepare yourself and make the most of this event!
Acquire Your Targets
Companies are not only looking for candidates who are able to do the job–they also want to know that you’ll fit in with the company and that you’ve done your research on their organization. The more specifics you have, the more you can show that you’ll be a positive addition. It is important to do your research. This information can help you answer the question: “Why do you want to work for our company?” and provides insight to help initiating conversations with employers!
- What does the organization value?
- What is their mission?
- What is the company history?
- Are they working on any strategic goals or projects?
- Have they recently been featured in the news?
- What is their culture or office environment like?
- Do we have any alumni who work for the organization? You can check this using LinkedIn.
Analyze Each Position
For each position you are interested in, take a look at the position description. The company is telling you what is key to that role – the skills and requirements a candidate needs to succeed in that position. And when you mirror your application and interview to demonstrate those key traits, you can make the argument that you’ll be successful in that position. When you are talking to the employer at the Expo about a specific position, you can showcase how you have the skills that match what they are looking for.
- What is the position that interests you with this organization?
- What are some key words/skills/requirements that stand out to you?
- What are the 3 greatest skills needed or required for this position?
- Summarize their ideal candidate – who are they looking for?
Know Your Strengths
Your most valuable tool in a job search is being able to clearly articulate your strengths and how they’re relevant to an organization. After completing a position description analysis, identify how you’ve demonstrated 2-3 of their key skills in the past. And feel free to choose any skills that you think could be valuable that aren’t listed – additional skills could include: creativity, communication, initiative, leadership, presentation experience, and project management. Then, emphasize those skills in your resume, cover letter, interview, and any additional application materials.
- What experiences do you have to meet the skills needed/required?
- How do you exemplify the traits of their ideal candidate?
Make Smart Conversation
Once you’ve identified what you want to emphasize to employers, you need to practice articulating that verbally. Use the following template as a framework for sharing what makes you a strong candidate for their position.
Include the basics: “Hello, I’m ________________________. I am completing a _____ in ________________ _______, and my main focus/ interest/experience is _____ _.”
Then, create a conversation (avoid asking for any information that could easily be found online or in the position):
- What are the biggest challenges the person in this position will face?
- Can you describe a typical day or week in the position?
- What would a successful first year in the position look like?
- How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive here?
- Thinking back to the person who you’ve seen do this job best, what made their performance so outstanding?
- “I saw in the news recently that , how ?”