By: Whitney Hatano
If the warm weather and sunshine hasn’t been enough of a clue that spring is among us, then maybe the Spring Career & Internship Fair will be. The fair will be held on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 from 10:00am-3:00pm in Baker Ballroom. Most college students attend at least one career fair in their years at school. At first the concept of a career fair may seem extremely nerve racking and stressful but in the end it is a worthwhile experience. Try not to fret too much; here are a few tips for success at this year’s career fair!
A common piece of advice is to dress professionally! It doesn’t matter whether one is searching for a life long career or just attending the fair for the first time. Chances of a business taking you seriously while you’re still in your PJs are slim to none. First impressions are very crucial and you never know whom you’re going to meet. Being overdressed is more forgivable than being underdressed. The dressed up also does not mean putting on your going out outfit, make sure to clean up and look appropriate.
One of the most important tips is to do your research before the event. With long lines and packed rooms, it’s hard to scope out the entire fair without feeling even more overwhelmed than you probably already are. You also need to take into consideration that not every booth is suitable for you. Researching the companies present beforehand will make it easier for you to filter out which booths are worth stopping at. On the same note, be careful not to rule out any options because you may just be surprised about what a company has to offer. Research different companies by visiting their websites and reading their values and option positions to get a feel for their business. Social media is also becoming a great tool for companies, so try checking out their Twitter or like their Facebook page, too!
Maintaining a positive attitude throughout the day can be tiresome, but keep that smile and handshake firm. If you show you’re genuinely interested in the employer, then they’re going to be just as enthusiastic to give you more information about themselves. Bringing your resume is only half of the battle; you have to have an impressive personality too. Potential employers are not going to want to hire someone who isn’t going to add to their company rapport. Try not to sell yourself too much though, employers want to hear about the real you, not a pitch you’ve repeated to every other booth.
These are only a few tips that can be used to make your career fair experience successful. Just remember to look professional, do your research and bring you’re a-game. Career fairs shouldn’t be scary; they are here to assist students in meeting new people and creating a professional network for free!
On April 25, ImPRessions and professional adviser, M.J. Clark, held their third #AskOUrPRos twitter chat. Industry professionals offered suggestions to students about creating and maintaining resumes, portfolios and digital portfolios. The conversation was great! And students used the opportunity to network with professionals while getting advice on marketing themselves for jobs and internships. Graduating students also benefited from the chat, as professionals discussed their personal tips and tricks for updating resumes and portfolios.
We’d like to thank all of our participants, professionals and students alike. Our next #AskOUrPRos chat is May 22, and we hope to see you all there!
To see a recap of our chat, check out our Storify.
By Nicole Bersani, CEO
Every month or so, the leaders in various PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run firms from around the country gather to talk about ways to make their firm better. The most recent call on Tuesday, Feb. 21 covered resume building with organizer, Jessica Noonan, PRSSA National Vice President of Professional Development, and guest, Joe Clarkson, PRSSA National VP of Internships/Job Services. Both gave great advice that I would like to share with the rest of our members…
- While some students might not have agency internship experience but want to intern or work at agencies, joining a student-run firm is a great way to showcase your experiences and display that you have work that could mirror agency experience (via Jessica). In ImPRessions for example, members can work on various accounts throughout their four years at Ohio University — some even work on more than one per year.
- “There is no real magic formula for resumes.” -Joe. Try to demonstrate specifics such as using the number of media outlets that covered your client during a certain release, the amount of money you raised in fundraising for your client’s event or the increase in retweets, mentions, etc. while you did social media for your client.
- Avoid being vague (via Joe). You might not have all the specific information/results from your client about the work you did, but try to gather as much information you can, ask your client if they can share their results and/or approve the results you have.
- Be specific but also explain – don’t assume everyone knows what you’re talking about on your resume (via Joe). On my resume, I have it listed as “ImPRessions, PRSSA Nationally Affiliated student-run firm, CEO.” Because I also mention my involvement in PRSSA, I mention that organization in a separate line as “Public Relations Student Society of America, Hugh M. Culbertson Chapter, Executive Board Member” and therefore do not need to write out PRSSA twice. Also, make sure to label that you are an account associate, account executive or account supervisor for Express, Cardinal Health, etc. and not ImPRessions unless you are on the internal account. For example, Sam Barlett is the account supervisor for the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, College Book Store and ButtOut Ohio accounts in ImPRessions. If you have a sub-title such as social media coordinator, graphic designer, etc. then make sure to make that clear as well but also mention that role was while you were an account associate.
- Highlight key terms and content (via Joe). Key words such as “team,” “community,” and “leader” are good examples of words to add. Also, any certain names of companies, events and software programs can be excellent key terms. Check also the company’s website that you are applying to — copy words they mention in their mission statement and on the application if it’s applicable to your resume.
If you ever need help with how to display your ImPRessions work on your resume, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, our firm at email@example.com, stop in our office hours on Wednesdays or reach out to our professional adviser, M.J. Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, more resume tips specific to ImPRessions members can also be found in our 2011-2012 Brand Standards Manual.
If you ever have any questions for Jessica, Joe or anyone else on the PRSSA Naitonal Committee, their contact information can be found on the PRSSA National website.
Members, alumni, professors…any additional tips you recommend?