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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tradeshows & Job Fairs

Hello all,

So spring is on the way... well officially it's here, but weather-wise we have have a ways to go.

Every spring, the minds of young men and women everywhere turns to... um... EMPLOYMENT!

I was a new-grad a few years back, right in the peak of the recession actually, and found it tough.  I'm sure at this point in time it isn't much easier.

That being said, I do recall the Trade Show Displays that would grace my campus every year around this time promoting different companies and possible internships.

For the most part, I found them to be a a frantic tossing of resumes amongst the vinyl banners and would leave with some swag and a ton of pamphlets... but is this helpful? Is it effective?

With this approach I always felt like a number, yet never felt there would be an ROI.

I have blogged about interview tips and how to answer some of the tougher interview questions  that may come up - but this blog is going to be more about approach, or at least my take on it.

1. Start early

If you are in first year, great - you should speak to your career counselor about a co-op or internship program at your school... Experience trumps grades in most cases.

2. Network 

Or as we used to say - make friends.  Meet people from a variety of programs - take advantage of social or extra-curricular things in school.

3. Have an opinion

...and then share it!  Through things like blogs, or LinkedIn, or even Facebook and Twitter - share!  Your name should be able to be found on Google and the results should be positive... Alot of recruiters admit to 'Googling' applicants, so let them see how well-informed and professional you are.

4. Help people

It's the golden rule... what goes around comes around.  However you want to say it, just help other people - it is a good thing to do and may go along way to supporting point #2 above.

5. Be open

When I first graduated, I was very narrow-minded.  I only wanted to work in HR and nothing else; looking at other options and realizing the advantage of being young will open you to other experiences... at the very least you'll have a well-rounded resume

That's my 2 cents... what about my other HR colleagues?

Any advice for our new or soon-to-be grads?

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