iSCHOOL CAREER FAIR TIPS: PART 1
A networking event can be overwhelming, and preparation can help (see article suggested by The Muse). Whether you plan to attend the iSchool Career Fair (ICF), Library & Information Science Speed-Talks & Mingling event, or another professional event/conference, you’ll want to prepare before showing up.
To help you do so, we have several upcoming events aimed at providing you with the skills you need to stand out:
- January 31: ICF: Mingling for Introverts (HUB 337 and online), 12:30-1:30 pm
- February 4: ICF: Resume Review Day OUGL 220, 12:30-2:00 pm
- February 8: ICF: What to Expect, OUGL 220, 12:30-1:20 pm
- February 11: ICF: Industry Careers for MLIS Grads, (MGH 015H and online), 5:00-6:00 pm
Below are some tips from the career team to help you make a positive impression with professionals.
#1: CRAFT YOUR INTRODUCTION
Having a compelling introduction is key when preparing for networking opportunities.
Interactions can be fast-paced, and the ability to talk about yourself succinctly yet substantively is important.
To prepare, we recommend crafting a 30-second summary of your core attributes and interest areas. The intro should cover three areas: who you are, what skills/experience you offer, and the types of opportunities you’re seeking.
In developing your intro, it can help to start with that last part. Are you going to ICF in hopes of landing a UX internship? A full-time taxonomy position? Anything that’ll allow you to develop your technical skills?
Having a specific goal in mind will allow you to pinpoint what aspects of your background and skillset to include in your introduction to employers. Here are some examples:
“Hi, my name’s John and I’m a first year MLIS student with an interest in digital asset management and knowledge organization. I’ve been able to pursue these interests as a student assistant at the UW Libraries, and am currently looking for internships for this upcoming summer. Are you seeking any interns or part-time employees for June through September?”
These examples include pertinent information without overwhelming with irrelevant details. The point of your intro is to interest the employer in further conversation — not recite your resume.
We also recommend tailoring your content based on your listener. If you know a certain organization particularly values experience, think about mentioning multiple internships you’ve had instead of listing all your specific skills. Or if you’ve heard an organization prioritizes community engagement, highlight your time volunteering.
You’ll also want your intro to sound confident and authentic. Practice your intro beforehand until it sounds more conversation than infomercial. This video gives a good demonstration of what it’s like to speak with recruiters at a career fair. If you need help developing your intro, feel free to reach out to one of our career advisors through iCareers appointments or drop-in hours. Continue reading