Spring career day is quickly approaching, falling on Tuesday, February 4Th this year. Students who attend will have the chance to network with over 200 companies. In my opinion, the opportunity to network with so many companies who want to hire Colorado School of Mines students during fall and spring career day is one of the greatest benefits of a Mines education. With that being said, I’m sure every Mines student has had an experience when they walk into career day, ready to land an interview or two, but end up going home at the end of the day, disheartened having had no such luck. Admittedly, there is no foolproof guide to ensure you get offered a position every career day, however, I’ve compiled some of the best tips from the campus career center, scholarships, and fellow Orediggers that might help those reading this article.
First off, there is a lot that can be done before career day to set oneself up for success. Reviewing your resume and updating it as needed will help to ensure that you’re prepared to share the best version of your experiences. If you have questions about how to improve your resume the career center will be holding resume review events every day until the 31st. If you are looking for more specific feedback you can try reaching out to faculty in the department you are majoring in. Professors with relevant work experience likely know what will stand out to the company’s you want to speak with. Once you have a solid resume ready the next step is researching the companies you are interested in. Quickly looking over each company’s website and their postings on Diggernet will give you the benefit of showing up knowing specifically what each company does, what positions they have open, and a little bit about the company culture. Already knowing this information will give you the chance to start a real conversation in person instead of talking to the company about these basics. Depending on what fields you are interested in working in, you might have the opportunity to meet with some companies before career day. Definitely attend these information sections if you can because they will allow you to have more one on one time with recruiters and show them how excited you are to work with their company. The final step in preparing for career day is checking to see what classes are meeting regularly that day so you can plan out an efficient schedule.
Start out career day strong by dressing professionally and reviewing your notes on the companies you’ll be visiting. It’s natural to be a little nervous when trying to make a good first impression so ‘warming up’ by talking to some of the companies you aren’t as interested in working with. This practice will help you get comfortable talking with companies and further refine how you present yourself. The whole time you are at the career fair make sure to ask for business cards for the companies and people you spoke with for future correspondence. While you are talking to recruiters you might make a connection with one but learn that their company doesn’t have an internship or position that is right for you. If this happens don’t be afraid to ask who their company works with or if they know any companies that might have openings. If you impress a recruiter but there isn’t a position available for you with their company referring you to a company that they work with is a way for them to get more information on how you work in their field and keep you on their radar.
Even after you are done talking to companies on career day, you can still do some things you can do to boost your chances of success. Be sure to send thank you cards to the companies and people that you talked to. Perhaps the most important piece of advice I have to offer though, after career day take some time to note what did and didn’t work for you personally. Though every other piece of advice may help make this spring career day better, what could make it the best is unique to everyone. Taking the time to record what worked and didn’t work for the next time you have to network can make a career day that feels unremarkable almost as meaningful as one that leads to all the interviews you could have hope for.