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Prepping for the Career Fair

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Oakland University arranges career fairs for students to socialize with professionals and make connections for their future careers.

Oakland University arranges career fairs for students to socialize with professionals and make connections for their future careers.

Elyse Gregory

Elyse Gregory

Oakland University arranges career fairs for students to socialize with professionals and make connections for their future careers.

Falin Hakeem, Staff Reporter

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On Wednesday, Sept. 27, Oakland University is hosting the 2017 Fall Career Fair in the University Recreation and Well-Being Center. Career Services consultants Carol Anne Ketelsen and Amy Ring Celeback share their tips on how to prep for the event and how to follow up with employers after the career fair.

For students who have never been to the Career Fair before, Career Services offers prep sessions. The sessions deal with professional dress and what students should bring to the fair.

“Make sure your resume is in tip-top shape,” Ketelsen said. “Bring your resumes on stock paper instead of regular printer paper. This is very important.”

For those who cannot make it to the sessions, Ketelsen advises students to visit Handshake to find out which employees will be there and look at examples of resumes.

The first step in preparing for the event is to do research and to narrow it down to which employers a student would like to meet with.

“The question you never want to ask the employer is ‘what does your company do?’” Ketelsen said.

The elevator pitch, another key tool to have, is what students should first say when they walk up to an employer. According to Forbes, “It’s the 30-second speech that summarizes who you are, what you do and why you’d be a perfect candidate.”

For someone who has never been to the fair before, Ketelsen said it can be very overwhelming walking into the Rec Well that is filled to the brim with employers.

“If [students] go to Handshake, they can see who’s coming and target market employers and figure out who they want to talk to,” Ketelsen said.

As for dress code, students should keep their outfits professional, conservative and minimal.

“Stay away from too much makeup, heels that are too high and white gym socks,” Ketelsen said.

In terms of following up, Ring Celebak recommends sending a ‘thank you’ note as one way to reach out to employers and companies a student may be interested in pursuing.

Ring Celebak instructed to make sure to listen intently to the instructions an employer may give for after the fair.

“Reach out on LinkedIn and connect with that individual or recruiter that you talked to at the Career Fair,” she said. “Send them a quick thank you, let them know that you were grateful for the time that you spent and that you’re still very interested in the opportunity.”

Ring Celebak also advised students to remind employers of who they are and what their background is.

“Once you have an interview scheduled, make an appointment with Career Services immediately or schedule a mock interview with us,” she said. “We don’t want our students to go in unprepared.”

For more information, visit Oakland.edu/careerservices.

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