by Edel Singh
One of the great perks of attending LIM College is that we get endless opportunities for networking with industry professionals. Coming up on October 27 is the Career Fair in Maxwell Hall where an impressive amount of employers come to the College to meet, greet and interview the students.
I've attend some previous Career Fairs and this has given me some experience and knowledge regarding do’s and don'ts. Here are my five tips on how to successfully maneuver the Career Fair.
Your resume: One of the most important things to bring is your resume. The College has a specified template, and it is recommended to use it. Also, make sure that your resume is customized to the companies you’re applying to as Urban Outfitters has a different vision and approach than Bergdorf Goodman. If you have a portfolio, bring that too, along with your business cards.
Dress business casual: Needless to say, this is not the day to show up in sweatpants and a hoodie. However, I’ve also seen some unexpected reactions when employers have talked to students wearing suits. Show them who you are in an appropriate and professional manner.
Research the companies: We all get a list of the businesses attending so single out the ones you want to talk to and research them. Read about the history of those companies and make sure that you’re updated on current events at the companies and the industry.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions: Even when you’ve researched a company, you can’t possibly know what it’s like to work there. Make sure you ask them plenty of questions to show that you’re willing to learn more. It does not look good if you're asked if you have any questions and your answer is, “No.” Here is a short list of sample questions that I always ask:
- How would you define customer service?
- Do internships have the possibility of transitioning into jobs?
- What are your expectations for an intern?
- What is your employee/intern turnover. (Be careful with this one.)
- How many employees/interns do you (usually) have?
Be confident, not cocky: You’re the one approaching the companies, not the other way around so be sure that you’re humble yet assertive when talking to the representatives. Also, make sure that you make a good impression on the companies that you’re not there to see as you might end up working for them one day (like me at Michael Kors). Don’t say anything negative about the people there or the companies. Show proper manners, remember to smile, and be cordial while presenting your set of skills and knowledge. These are the things that will get you far in life, not the amount of money you spend on fashion. This is something you’ll hear repeatedly while attending LIM College.