4 job fair tips learned by living the Hyland (college) life
It may be quiet here around here with our wonderful interns back at school, but excitement about Hyland is buzzing on college campuses because of our new Campus Ambassadors!
Starting last fall, we selected 15 summer interns to represent Hyland on their college campuses. These students come from 12 different schools and represent many departments around Hyland.
What do Hyland Campus Ambassadors do?
This past semester, ambassadors assisted us with more than 40 recruitment events. Some of these were planned by us (career fairs, networking nights, etc.), and others were planned by them. From classroom presentations, meet and greets, and pizza parties, Hyland is all over campus!
One of our rock star ambassadors, Tressa Killilea, learned 4 things from being on the “other side” of a career fair. She graciously took time away from her studies at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) to share her experience. Here’s what she would like to share.
Tressa’s 4 tips to triumph
As a student, I know job fairs can be extremely daunting. So many booths in so little time. It’s a lot of pressure to impress the employers.
But this year, I was lucky enough to get a different perspective at the Bowling Green career fair. Because of the Hyland Campus Ambassador Program, I stood on the other side of the booth with the recruiters.
At first, I thought I was just there to help out. No biggie. But I didn’t realize what an experience it would be to see the career fair from a recruiter’s perspective. It was a very busy day as I talked with hundreds of interested students, and noticed many little things that helped them stand out.
Unfortunately, it is impossible for every student to sit in the recruiting chair like I did, so here’s what I picked up on. These four tips will help you make that all-important great first impression:
1. Recruiters are human too
Shocking, right? They want to have a conversation, so don’t come prepared with a script you feel compelled to stick to, word for word. Although you only have about a minute to talk, make it a fluid conversation.
Introduce yourself, ask a question, and then go into your short elevator speech. Have a few talking points in mind that make you stand out, but let them come naturally.
I know you’re nervous, because I was too! But, if you’re relaxed, it’s much easier to talk to you and it makes a better impression. Not only will you be more engaging, but you’ll be a lot less stressed!
Don’t look at it as meeting with a potential employer. Pretend you’re talking to another student about your experience in a casual conversation. …A student you’re very, very polite to.
3. Stand out
This one is pretty obvious. But I didn’t realize its significance until I talked to hundreds of people. The BGSU career fair lasts for five hours and recruiters are talking to students the entire time.
Be prepared to share something that makes you stand out—it doesn’t even have to be related to your field. An interest, past job, or something that might start a conversation.
I listened to a lot of elevator speeches that were well-stated, but not memorable. However, I do remember the smiling faces and names of the students who spoke passionately. At Hyland, it’s all about the passion.
4. Research the companies in advance
I constantly had to explain who Hyland is during the career fair. That immediately showed me the students I was talking to hadn’t done their homework. That right there can shift your grade from an A to a B.
Also, if you already know what the company does, it’s a much-needed break for a recruiter like me who has been repeating “enterprise content management” and “enterprise information platform” for the past few hours.
Not only will you look prepared, but you will have more time to talk with the recruiter about your interests. Again, this helps the recruiters remember you. Extra credit for knowing what open positions the company has available and other intricacies of the organization!
I hope you’ve enjoyed Tressa’s tips. They’re all important, to be sure.
And if you’re looking for an internship, find us on your campus in 2017!