Friday, September 21, 2012

Career Fair Prep: Your Pitch & Your Dress

Our last post discussed the importance of your resume and its presentation to employers; however, other important aspects of meeting with employers are your verbal communication and your attire. As shared by NBC News, Tom Fenwick describes his experience in meeting employers after serving in Iraq as a Marine: “You can submit online resumes or job profiles until your fingers bleed. You can dial the phone until your voice goes hoarse. Neither method will be as effective as meeting people in person, letting them see who you are” (to read more about Tom’s story, follow this link). The technology of our generation tends to dissuade personal interactions with people, which is why it is important to take advantage of the opportunities that career fairs provide for you to meet with employers face-to-face.

Oftentimes, your appearance and ability to communicate your passions and interests effectively are the first impression that employers will receive when they meet you.  This impression can determine whether or not they further examine your experience and skills on your resume. You want to make the most of this opportunity to capture their attention and to distinguish yourself from the other applicants. Below, we provide some steps for creating persuasive points:

Developing Your Pitch:

  • Research the company and position that interests you.
  • Brainstorm about ways that your abilities, skills, and experiences can benefit the company or organization.
  • Write down three to four points that you can effectively share in three to five minutes. Explain how your passions and interests relate to the company.
  • Practice. Practice. Practice.
  • Tell a friend. He or she may realize that you are leaving out important information.

Hopefully, you were able to attend our Dress Your Best event that took place this week, but if you could not come, we have other resources that can help you to prepare for the Career Fair next week. The Career Center outlines specific guidelines for men and women in regard to business casual and business professional dress styles. You can review the extensive list of details for men and women on our website, but we have also highlighted the high points below:

Dress Essentials:

  • Wear a dark suit (black, brown, navy, or dark gray) to your interview, unless the employer specifies that you may wear business casual.  Women may wear a pant or skirt suit.
  • Make sure that your shoes match your suit. Generally, navy and black will look better with darker suits and brown will look better with lighter suits. Do not wear open toed shoes.
  • Be careful with the accessories that you wear in addition to your suit. You want to keep your jewelry very simple and lean towards a more conservative style.
  • Portfolios can increase the professionalism of your appearance; plus, they are useful for carrying your resumes, questions for the employer, and a writing utensil and paper for taking notes.

We have also included some pictures that will help you to visualize appropriate attire.

Business Professional:

Business Casual:

You can view more visual examples at our Pinterest site.

Please let us know if you have any questions. We are also available this week to help you improve your resume before you give it to employers! We look forward to seeing you at the Career Fair on Tuesday, September 25th and Wednesday, September 26th from 12:00-4:00 p.m in the Humphrey Coliseum.

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