Career Newsletter, 2/7/19

iSCHOOL CAREER FAIR TIPS: PART 2

Following up on our last career services newsletter, we’ve compiled a few more tips to help you make the most of the iSchool Career Fair (ICF).

And don’t forget, we still have a few upcoming events aimed at providing you with the skills you need to stand out:

#4: CUSTOMIZE YOUR RESUME

Step number one in preparing your resume for ICF is, of course, making sure it’s updated with your most recent jobs and internships, class projects, volunteer experiences, etc.

Career fairs present a unique challenge in preparing your resume, though, in that you’ll be handing it to variety of employers, each with different hiring needs and methods of evaluation. Creating multiple different versions of your resume, tailored to specific companies, can help your applicant profile stand out.

If you download the (available on iOS and Android), you’ll be able to see organization overviews and hiring needs provided by the recruiters.* Use this information to adapt your resume.

For instance, imagine you’re interested in cybersecurity and see that Company X is hiring for a Security Consultant. An easy initial adjustment would be adding a line into your summary of qualifications that mentions your knowledge of, and passion for, information security policies and standards. Furthermore, you could choose to put more emphasis and projects from relevant courses (say, INFO 312 or IMT 556 ). While relatively minor changes, it will demonstrate you’ve researched the organization beforehand, which in turn will reflect your enthusiasm for a potential job opportunity.

Company overviews can also give insight into the organization’s values, which may affect what past roles and projects you highlight on your resume.

Representatives from ICF-registered organizations, along with UW career services and HR employees, will be there to provide individualized resume advice. You can also find sample resumes online, view our Writing Killer Resumes workshop, or

*If information for the 2019 career fair isn’t live as of this posting, it will be soon after.

#5: RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS IN ADVANCE 

It would be ill-advised to enter an interview without having done any prior research on the company, and the same holds true for career fairs. You don’t need to do exhaustive research all 44 organizations in attendance at ICF, but reading a bit about those in which you’re most interested will yield results.

Some starting points when researching a company:

  • Purpose of the organization — what, exactly, do they do?
  • Mission statement, vision, and values
  • Reputation* (Glassdoor and Blind are some good options)
  • Organizational initiatives
  • Recent news
  • Company social media accounts

Researching an organization beforehand can help in a few significant ways.

First, it’ll allow you to tailor your introduction to that organization. For example, if you read that they pride themselves on being service-minded, you might consider talking about your volunteer experience with the recruiter.

Researching will also allow you to have a more substantive conversation with the recruiter, transitioning from your introduction into more detailed topics. This will give them a better sense of who you are (and vice versa). Demonstrate that you have researched the organizations by soliciting thoughtful questions. For example, you might mention that you’ve read about the organizations initiative to grow their analytics practice and are curious if that has changed how their company’s cross-functional teams are structured.

Last, and perhaps most importantly, doing research beforehand reflects strong work ethic. No one can force you to study up beforehand, and those who do so are demonstrating their willingness to take initiative — a quality sought universally by employers.

For help narrowing the focus of your research, be sure to download the ICF app mentioned earlier.

*While negative aspects of a company’s reputation can be invaluable in helping you choose between jobs/internships, it’s best to avoid bringing these up during career fair conversations.

#6: FOLLOW UP WITH KEY CONTACTS 

As you’re expanding your network of professional contacts at the career fair, you’ll find that some conversations go better than others. If there’s a recruiter with whom you connect particularly well, or a specific opportunity that sparks your interest, ask if you can get a business card. Make sure to thank the employer for their time, as well.

For example:

“I really appreciate your time today and would love to learn more about [your role, organization, etc.], do you have a business card I could grab so I can follow up with you?”

We recommend following up quickly on any potential leads (within 48 hours). The note can restate your interest, or summarize your relevant qualifications if you discussed a particular opportunity. Try also to reference specific parts of your ICF conversation. Not only will that help jog the recruiter’s memory, it’ll also show that you’re not just sending a generic note to everyone you saw at the fair — that your interest in that organization is genuine.

Additionally, if a career fair contact asked you to send them supplemental materials, include those in the follow-up. And if any job or internship opportunities you discussed are accepting applications, apply to those before reaching back out, and then let the point of contact know you’ve done so.

Check out this example for additional help.

If you didn’t get the person’s contact info but would still like to follow up, you have a couple options. iCareers has a list of contacts for every company that has posted a job — scanning those might yield some results (look under “Employers” then “Contact Directory”). And if you remember the person’s name but just didn’t get an email address, you can always use LinkedIn to send a personalized, professional message along with your invitation to connect. We unfortunately won’t have a list of all the company representatives that attended.

                                                                                                                                                           

UPCOMING EVENTS

iSchool: More info and registration via iCareers

(Missed a workshop? You can review our recorded sessions online.)

  • 2/7: West Monroe Partners iLounge Hangout; 9:00 – 11:00am, MGH 416
  • 2/11: Fast Enterprises iLounge Hangout; 9:00 – 11:00am, MGH 416

UW Career & Internship Center

Other

                                                                                                                                                           

POSITIONS FOR CONSIDERATION

  • 2019 Summer IT Internship, Costco; iCareers ID 8471
  • UX Developer Interface Design Internship, Pallet; iCareers ID 8464
  • Instrumentation Solution Product Intern, PayPal; Handshake ID 2406610
  • Student Internship Program – Summer 2020, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Handshake ID 2408326
  • Yellowstone Research Library Intern, Yellowstone Research Library; iCareers ID 8452
  • Technology Consultant – Cloud & Infrastructure, West Monroe Partners; iCareers ID 8421
  • Front End Developer Studio Associate, Deloitte Digital; iCareers ID 8463
  • Software Engineer Entry Level, PayPal; Handshake ID 2406897
  • Collection Development Librarian, Deschutes Public Library; iCareers ID 8466
  • Project Archivist, The Evergreen State College; iCareers ID 8447

                                                                                                                                                           

Questions or feedback? Contact us at icareers@uw.edu | iCareers

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