Career Fair is all cleaned up, I handed out all my resumes, got a couple business cards, the jobs should just be rolling in, right? So why aren’t they?
If you’re in this spot, don’t worry so am I.
While the career fair is an amazing opportunity everyone should take advantage of, it doesn’t give you the golden ticket to an internship or job. It’s a first step. You got the chance to get your resume in front of people, learn about the opportunities they have, what skills they are looking for, and maybe even applied for the job or received an interview. These are all crucial steps to securing your position, but not a guarantee.
So what can you (and me) do?
Here are some things I’ve been doing:
If you haven’t already added the people you met on LinkedIn, do that now! Even if you didn’t get their email, that way you can message them and remind them of who you are. Send something simple such as:
It was great meeting you and getting to talk about the opportunities at _______. I hope the travel back to Minnesota wasn’t too terrible, and that you got a chance to relax after a busy trip!
I know we talked a bit about my experience with InDesign, so you can check out my portfolio on LinkedIn to see what we mentioned! Please let me know if you have time to discuss more about the internship or would like me to send any more of my work over.
Thank you and I look forward to building our connection!
- Zach Hamilton”
Notice how I put in a little about our conversation from career fair. This helps the recruiter remember who you were so it’s not such an awkward message. Providing a bit more information on yourself can also be beneficial, or even just sending a digital form of your resume in case they misplaced the paper copy. This kind of follow-up can help put your job application at the top of the pile. Even if you don’t get the job this time around, they will remember you the next time!
As disheartening as it can be to not hear back from a potential employer, it’s no reason to give up! I’ve applied to A LOT of internships this semester and haven’t had much success as far as hearing back. You have to remember that sometimes applications can get overwhelming for an office or they may have already filled the position/started the interview process. That’s no reason not to keep applying, the worst thing that will happen is you don’t hear back! At least you got some experience applying to make you better for the next one.
You can find new positions quickly and easily by using CyHire! Something I just learned is how to set up Job Alerts that are specific to what you are looking for.
Go under the “Jobs” tab and find the search option. When you get there, click on “more filters” to make the search unique to your needs.
For example, I’m currently searching for an internship this summer in Public Relations of some sort, but I also have a minor in Apparel Design. I put in my areas of study and opted “Yes” to “exclude positions open to all majors” so I can find a job that directly correlates to the skills and interests I have. Knowing I want something for this summer I can also indicate to only look at things for the summer session. I also clicked that I am only looking for “Experiential Learning/Internship” options.
Once you have it all set up to meet your needs, set a daily job alert! This will let you know when any new positions that match your search come up that you can apply for. There are similar features you can use on LinkedIn as well!
Practice Makes Perfect
With all of this following-up, your chances of landing an interview are high. All the work done up to this point is just to get that interview and make a good impression. Now it’s time to ace the interview and networking opportunities!
Doing well in an interview is about more than just what you say in the moment, it’s all about the preparation you’ve done. Researching the company, knowing your own skills and accomplishments, crafting your stories in an intriguing way that highlights your skills, and more. It can be daunting to prepare! Luckily your friends at LAS Career Services are here to help.
Practicing interview questions is a great start. Something that I’ve tried out as a part of my LAS 203 class is Big Interview. This gives you a chance to practice how to do the recorded video interviews, which are a really common thing companies will ask for before the in-person interview. For practice with a real person, you can schedule an appointment with one of our advisors or come in for Mock Interview Monday to test out your skills and get personalized tips!
You can find all the resources like workshops or one-on-one appointments here!