We attended the Ivy Tech Career Fair on November 7th which for Sara Jordan and I was a new experience. We were fortunate to have a career fair expert on our team – Elizabeth Szentes! It is fair to say that by the end of the day we were working as a well-oiled machine – instinctively helping each other without being asked. This was one of the best examples of team work I have both witnessed and been lucky enough to be part of in a long time.
We met a diverse mix of job seekers, most of whom were extremely professional, pleasant and well-prepared for the event. Unfortunately, in contrast, this made the less-than-ideal candidates stand out somewhat like a sore thumb! We were able to identify a number of key areas which served as general criteria for ‘dos and don’ts’ at a career fair:
- Do not chew gum when talking to potential employers
- Do not wear inappropriate headwear such as oversized cowboy hats, ear-warmers or ‘hunter hats’
- Do listen to the answer after asking a question
- Do dress professionally
- Do have a strong introduction prepared
- Do remember your manners (you don’t want ‘Teacher’ Chabot to have to remind you to say please as indeed happened!)
- Do print your resume on quality paper – without any spelling or grammatical errors!
- Do not under any circumstances flirt with potential employers
By the end of the day, we were all physically exhausted after having given 100 per cent to the event. We received some lovely feedback and our table enjoyed a constant stream of job seekers whom we actively sought to engage. We were polite, professional and respectful regardless of who we were talking to which is another ‘take away’ I came away with from this event. The fact that we almost ran out of business cards by the end is testament to how much successful networking took place!
Our next steps are to continue to follow up with some of the great candidates we met, to share our lessons learned with Ivy Tech and to stock up on our give-aways – which went down a treat*!
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. – Henry Ford
*were very well received.