Stand out at career day in 30 seconds

With Career Day around the corner, Jean Manning-Clark, Director of the Career Center and Employer Relations, provided tips on how to positively attract potential employers during Career Day.

The first step to making a good impression during Career Day begins with the five “P’s,” which are plan, prepare, practice, personal appearance, and performance. To plan, Manning-Clark suggests going through the Career Day Program Guide and creating a list of one’s top 25 companies, and adjusting the list as appropriate.

Before attending Career Day, submit applications on DiggerNet as well as on employers’ websites. Applying on DiggerNet ensures that a student’s application is associated with the School of Mines and applying on employers’ websites satisfies employers’ equal opportunity requirements. Manning-Clark said that online applications were what allowed for “992 interviews to be conducted on campus in one day,” after last year’s Career Day.

Additional preparation for Career Day includes bringing extra copies of your resume. Manning-Clark recommends bringing enough to place in the resume drop-off location and to hand out to recruiters if needed. Bringing a portfolio or notebook is a good idea, as they can be used to store extra resumes, employers’ pamphlets, and notes. When speaking with recruiters, ask them if notetaking is alright. Recruiters might appreciate such attentiveness and involvement.

To practice for this event, students should create a “30-second commercial” of themselves to present to recruiters. Mention your year and major, and explain why you are interested in your area of study. Inform recruiters of notable achievements and goals, and conclude this “speech.”

When it comes to personal presentation, the type of position can have some influence on attire. For students looking for a full-time job, a suit is a must, whereas for an internship business casual is appropriate. Employers have been notified that students, especially freshmen, will be stopping by Career Day during their short breaks or exploring the career fair for the first time. At the very least, wearing semi-formal attire will make a good impression.

Manning-Clark also suggests not beginning Career Day by speaking to your top company choice. By speaking to other companies first, you can calm the nerves and get those initial jitters out of the way. When approaching a recruiter, began with a firm handshake, give the “30-second commercial” and remember to smile and maintain eye contact.

When asked questions about specific situations, use the STAR method to form an answer. Provide the situation, task, action, and result. If asked a tough question, do not feel the need to quickly answer. Take a deep breath and answer as well as possible.

Finally, Manning-Clark states that “99.9% of [students] will make a mistake” during Career Day. Making mistakes is normal, and might even endear a student to recruiters.

Students can gain more assistance on maximizing their Career Day at the Career Center, which is located next to the Registrar in the Student Center.

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