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    Avoid this Mistake and Make a Good First Impression at a Career Fair

    September 29th, 2011, 1:44 pm

    Our Career Fair is happening this Friday. Online registration is now closed, but if you have not registered, don’t worry. You can still come to the fair and register on-site. As long as you are a Georgetown student or alumnus, of course.

    You know that there’s a career fair happening. What should you do to get ready for it? I am going to give you my best piece of advice. Don’t approach an employer and ask, “What do you do?” I have spoken with employers over the years at our career fairs about what impresses them when they meet students in this kind of wholesale setting. Again and again, employers tell me that the behavior that leaves them with the most negative impression is a student asking the employer what their organization does.

    When you speak with an employer, you need to be conversant in the work their organization does.

    How do you do that when there are 101 employers at one event? Read the rest of this entry »


    Government & Nonprofit EXPO – Feb. 18, 2011

    February 17th, 2011, 10:44 am

    Our annual Government and Nonprofit Career EXPO is happening on Friday, February 18. The primary difference between EXPO and our fall career fair is that almost all of the employers who recruit at EXPO are government agencies and nonprofit organizations, whereas the fall career fair is open to for-profit and nonprofit employers. EXPO is also different from our fall career fair because we host the event as part of a consortium of universities. So if you are interested in a career in the government or nonprofit sectors, we hope you come on Friday. Just don’t be surprised if you bump into students from NYU or UVA (two of our five partners in putting on this event).

    When it comes to making the most of EXPO, the process is the same as it is for any other career fair. Preparation is key. Below you will find some resources to help you prepare.

    On Hoya Career Connection, our jobs and internships database, we have a list of the 84 employers who will be at EXPO. Employers like it when you show up at their table and demonstrate some understanding of and interest in what their organization does. Look at this list before EXPO to see who’s coming and, if necessary, do a little research on organizations’ Web sites, Hoya Career Connection, Idealist, or LinkedIn.

    Here is some advice on how to succeed at a career fair from an employer who has recruited at Georgetown.

    Last fall, Christine Cruzvergara, our Manager of Special Programs, wrote a series of posts about the myths and realities of career fairs. The posts were written for our fall career fair, but the lessons are applicable for EXPO too.

    • Career Fair Myths 1 & 2 – Why career fairs aren’t just for business students and why its not necessarily a bad thing that some employers may not be able to accept your resume.
    • Career Fair Myths 3 & 4 – About the importance of preparing for a career fair and why our career fairs aren’t just for people looking for full-time jobs.
    • Career Fair Myths 5 & 6 – On managing expectations for career fairs and how to make employers remember you.
    • Career Fair Myth 7 – How to dress appropriately for a career fair.

    Career Fair Myth vs. Reality, Myth 7

    September 29th, 2010, 3:43 pm

    MYTH 7: “It’s alright to show up in my jeans and Georgetown sweatshirt.”
    The Reality: First impressions matter and you want to have an appropriate outfit. Dress professionally and ask a few people for their opinions if you’re not sure. This really could make a huge difference in how the recruiter feels and thinks about you.

    For men: Wear a suit or, at the very least, business slacks, a button down shirt and a tie. Remember to wear dress shoes and a belt that coordinate with your outfit. Sneakers and sandals with a polished outfit make you look unprepared and the employer will immediately think about whether you would be a good representative of their company. You’ll also want to make sure your suit and shirt are ironed. Showing up at the fair looking wrinkly mess is not a good way to make a first impression.

    For women: Wear a skirt or pant suit. If you don’t have one, dress in business casual with a nice pair of slacks or a skirt and a well-fitted blouse. This is not the time to try out your new heels. You don’t want to look awkward walking around or be in pain as you stand in long lines at the fair. Also remember to watch the length of your skirts and how low-cut your tops might be. A blouse or skirt that could be very cute for a night out to dinner might not be appropriate for the career fair. And throwing on a jacket doesn’t automatically make your outfit professional.

    For everyone: Practice good commonsense hygiene. Shower, comb your hair, and brush your teeth. Go easy on the cologne or perfume. Some people are sensitive to scents and you don’t want to distract anyone. Also remember to bring mints instead of gum if you’re worried about bad breath. When you’re thinking about your overall look, feel free to be yourself, but also recognize what message you may be sending to employers.


    Career Fair Myth vs. Reality, Myths 5 & 6

    September 28th, 2010, 5:24 pm

    MYTH 5: “I might receive a job offer during the Career Fair.”

    The Reality: Unlikely! Employers are not coming to the Career Fair to hire someone on the spot. They’re coming to meet strong potential candidates, learn more about your experiences and skills, and to talk about their company’s hiring process. As you may have read in the other career fair myths blog posts this week, they’re coming to network and share information. Remember that some employers can’t even collect résumés at the fair because of federal regulations, so use this time at the fair to make a quick positive first impression, get feedback on your résumé, and learn valuable information that will help you be a stronger candidate on your application. Then remember to follow up with the employers and recruiters you meet with so that they remember you and start forging a relationship. Read the rest of this entry »


    Career Fair Myth vs. Reality, Myths 3 & 4

    September 27th, 2010, 4:24 pm

    MYTH 3: “All I need to do is show up on the day of the Career Fair”

    The Reality: Our employers have high expectations and in this down economy, you want to stand out and be prepared every chance you get. I know how much time you spend on the computer, checking your gmail and looking at photos on Facebook. I admit, I’m guilty of the same, so it really shouldn’t be too much trouble to stay on for an extra 15 minutes and do a little bit of research on the participating employers. In that time, you can look at the list, check out their available positions, read through their Web sites, and look through their career opportunities.  Jot down a few notes to help you come up with some good questions for each employer.  Do not ask them, “So what does your company do?”  It will make you sound uninformed and lazy, and who wants to hire someone with those qualities?
    Read the rest of this entry »


    Career Fair: Myth vs. Reality, Myths 1 & 2

    September 24th, 2010, 11:50 am

    Myth 1: “The Career Fair is only for business students or seniors.”
    The Reality: The Career Fair is for everyone!  We aim to bring a variety of employers from all different industry areas that also recruit for a wide array of positions.  Our employers recruit for internships and full-time positions so students from all years can take advantage of the fair.  Do your homework, look at the list of participating employers, and don’t just stop at the name of the company or the industry they represent.  Check out the positions they’ll be recruiting for. Check out their Web sites to see what departments or opportunities may be available.  For example, one technology company is hiring for a marketing/communications position and one public policy research employer is looking for an editorial and marketing intern.  Go beyond the obvious and look.

    Myth 2: “The Career Fair is a waste of time because the employers won’t take my resume and they will just tell me to apply online.”
    The Reality: Since 2006, there are federal regulations that define what a job applicant is and how employers must manage applicant data. Some employers choose not to collect résumés at career fairs because of their interpretations of that law.
    Read the rest of this entry »


    Career Fair: Myth vs. Reality

    September 24th, 2010, 11:47 am

    Our annual Fall Career Fair is happening next Friday, October 1 (from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center). In anticipation of the fair, Christine Cruzvergara, Manager of Special Programs here at the Career Education Center, will be weighing in with a series of posts in which she will debunk some misconceptions about the fair and give her recommendations on how to make the most of it. So check back over the next few days to see what Christine has to say.

    To learn more about the career fair, such as how to register and which employers are coming, see our career fair page.