Monday, February 8, 2010

Make the most out of this week's Career and Intership Fairs!

There are several career, internship, and co-op fairs happening this week.  Now is your chance to begin networking with people in industries you're curious about and test-drive careers you think you want to enter after graduation.  Internship and Co-Ops are becoming more and more important as a supplement to your academic coursework when it comes to finding a job after graduation, so take advantage of UMass’ Career Services resources and get a jump start on your future!

But, what should you expect when you arrive at the fair?  How can you make yourself standout from other UMass students in attendance?
  •  First, you should take a look at some of the participating organizations who will be at this week's fairs, and read up on what to expect from an internship and/or co-op before you go.
  • Secondly, you should dress appropriately.  Meeting a potential employer is different than rolling out of bed for an a.m. discussion section.  First impressions are huge, and you want yours to be one of professionalism. 
  • Make sure you have several copies of an up-to-date resume on hand.  Your resume is like your business card.  Potential employers need a way to remember you and measure you against the competition. Make sure your resume reflects on paper who you are as a potential employee.  Not sure yours is quite ready?  Stop by Career Services walk-in hours for some assistance, or if you're running short on time, have a look at these tips and samples online. 
  • Think about why you're interested in a job, internship, or co-op, especially one with a specific company.  Be ready to engage the representative in a short conversation that demonstrates you know a little something about the organization or are at least interested in what they do.  Get creative with your UMass activities and try to connect those to potential careers and internships while you chat. 
  • Give yourself some time!  Don't plan a run-through 10 minutes before your class starts.  Make sure you have time to hand out resumes, shake hands, introduce yourself, ask questions, and chit chat a bit.  If you want an organization to be interested in you, you need to demonstrate interest in them as well.

These are just a few last minute tips to get you ready for this week's fairs.  Keep in mind Career Services is available to all students on campus and can can provide in-depth resume help, internship and co-op assistance, career exploration activities, and even mock interviews as you get ready to enter the work force.  Take advantage of this great resource now, and come graduation, you'll be glad you did!

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