Career day is fast approaching. For freshmen, that means just trying to figure out what all the fuss is about, for sophomores and juniors it means research and hard work into getting that internship of a lifetime, and for seniors it is the day that leads to the job all of this hard work is for. The Career Center here at Mines provides plenty of resources for students, no matter what their goals at career fair are. Among the publications, appointments, and info sessions are workshops. Workshops are one of the easiest and fastest ways to get informed and updated on career fair etiquette, proper interview attire, and the all-important resume. Just one week before career day, Fast Enterprises of Tulsa, Oklahoma gave an informative presentation entitled, “Finding the Right Job for You.”
Most students want a job, and any paying job will do. However, the perks of a Mines education include being some of the most sought-after graduates and interns in the nation. This means students can actually look into jobs, apply for ones that look interesting, and perhaps even choose a company that they see as desirable. This same philosophy also applies to employers that come to Mines Career Day. They have a booth in a sea of well-qualified students and they also have to find the right fit for their company.
The search for a job, if done right, begins early. If a student has specific aspects of a job that are important, they need to be proactive and take the search into their own hands. Thinking like a professional will make the search much easier. This means advertising oneself as a professional. Updating all social media sites is a must. Prospective employers may not look at social media in the hiring process, but if hired, eventually Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts may come under fire. LinkedIn, while not the most exciting form of social media, is a great networking tool if used effectively. Additionally, employers may call any phone number listed on a resume or application. If you don’t pick up, a voicemail greeting may mean the difference between an interview and an awkward regretful message.
At such a competitive school, how can a student stand out at Mines? Learning to self advertise in all aspects of the skill can make a huge difference. One of the biggest mistakes that Fast Enterprises sees students make at the career fair year after year is the time-old approach, “What does your company do?” Instead of highlighting resourcefulness, attention to detail and initiative, it expresses to the company that that student cannot possibly be a good fit for their company. He doesn’t even know what they do. Instead, researching companies that are interesting, investigating their current projects, and knowing something about their locations and their advertised position can put a student miles ahead of the game. Once the company’s purpose and goals are understood, an application that fits those goals makes a candidate rise to the top of the pile of resumes.
A proper resume should have at least five sections to highlight the different areas that are important to employers. Most importantly, it must include the applicant’s name! Lindsey Sittko, of Fast Enterprises said she receives numerous resumes every year without names and they must be thrown out immediately. Even with the most amazing resume, an employer can’t hire a nameless applicant. Additionally, contact information is vital to continuing any relation with a company. Other important sections on a resume include an objective statement (if applicable), education, work experience, and accomplishments and skills. In each of these sections, students should advertise themselves as effectively as possible. A recruiter may only glance at a resume for five to ten seconds, so the important information needs to stand out at the top. Every student at Mines receives a highly regarded education, so the Career Center recommends the very first section after contact information be education. This includes major, GPA, and any scholarships received. Overall, a resume should do a good job of quantifying accomplishments. A resume tailored to the job will show employers that their company fits the applicant, and the applicant fits the company.
If starting to get nervous, prospective interviewees should remember that all those recruiters out there at career day are human too. Professionalism, making oneself stand out, and showing up with a well-crafted resume will hopefully lead to much success for those seeking experience at Career Fair.