Employers look for candidates who are professional, articulate, and career-directed. To make the most of your day we recommend that you:
1. Prepare Yourself
Identify the organizations with which you are interested in speaking. You may want to tour the area and make contact with all the organizations to learn more about them and what they have to offer. Do not eliminate opportunities due to lack of information. Before you speak to anyone, it is important that you've given some thought to why you want an internship. Giving thought to the questions below will help you clearly explain your interests better.
- What are your academic/career goals?
- What abilities do you have to offer?
- What type of experience are you looking for?
- What do you want most to learn?
The Internship Fair or Job Fair is primarily designed to be an informal, information-gathering event rather than a formal interview. However, you should "dress to impress." A suit may not be necessary, but avoid casual dress such as jeans and sportswear. Most importantly, you should be neat, clean and well groomed. Avoid excess jewelry and perfume. Be sure to review our professional attire handout.
3. What to Bring
Several copies of your resume are a must. Other items that support your interests and abilities such as references, written work, or a portfolio can also be helpful.
4. Gather Information
Here is a list of what you need to question about the organization.
- Organization mission: What does it do? What are its goals?
- Internship or Job description: How have employees/interns been utilized in the past?
- Internship or Job availability: When is the job/internship available? How many hours/week?
- Requirements: What qualifications is the organization seeking?
- Application procedure: What materials are needed? Deadline?
5. What to Say and Do
Introduce yourself to the representative in a positive and confident manner; offer a firm handshake and give the representative a resume. Be prepared to discuss your background, qualifications, and career goals. Obtain the representative's name, title, address, and phone number so you can follow up. Collect business cards and literature. You may follow the steps listed below as a guideline for your conversation. You will only have a few minutes to present yourself as a candidate; positive first impressions are vital.
- Shake hands and introduce yourself. "Hi, my name is _____________ and I am a (class year) (major).
- Hand the representative your resume.
- Take 1 to 3 minutes to describe yourself, your interests and the opportunities that you are seeking.
- Exchange information with the representative.
- Ask the questions listed in #4.
- Ask how you proceed to pursue opportunities.
- Gather literature and ask for a business card.
- Shake hands and thank the representative for their time.
6. Questions to Ask
Think of questions that you want answered regarding your area(s) of interest. Take notes on what you learn. Some questions may be:
- What are common career paths with the organization?
- What is the training program for new hires?
- What do they look for in a candidate?
Remember, we highly recommend professional dress and don't forget your resume!