Penn State Smeal MBA Program Career Fair Success Strategies

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1 Career Fair Success Strategies Presented by Mike Brown Director, MBA Career Services

2 .not just a place to collect logo pens and post-it notes!

3 Career Fair Benefits Multiple employers; one location Acquire market, company data Practice interviewing skills Network with recruiters Land interviews 3

4 September Career Fairs Event Dates Corporate Associates Career Fair September 10 PSU Fall Career Days September Marketing Association Career Fair September 13 NAAMBA Leadership Conference Santa Clara, CA September Supply Chain Career Fair September National Black MBA Career Fair Indianapolis, IN September

5 October Career Expos Event Dates NSHMBA Career Fair Orlando, FL October 5-6 MBA Veterans Career Fair Chicago, IL October 12 Midwest Career Fair Chicago, IL October 19 MBA Women International Conference Phoenix, AZ October Reaching Out LGBT MBA Career Expo Boston, MA October Net Impact Conference Baltimore, MD October

6 What Employers Are Seeking Desired Traits in 2011 MBA Hires Percentage Initiative 77% Professionalism 77% Motivation 76% Integrity 76% Ability to deal effectively with 75% pressure/obstacles Source: GMAC 2011 Corporate Recruiters Report 6

7 Career Fair Strategies Pre-fair Preparation Career Fair Performance Post Fair Follow-up National Career Expos 7

8 Pre-fair Prep Strategy

9 Targeting Strategy Determine your career fair goals Identify job fair participants Prioritize your target companies top 5 must see A tier companies 5-10 nice to see B tier employers 5-10 intellectually curious C tier firms 9

10 Research Companies Review job openings Flagship products or services Stock price, history, locations Recent merger/acquisition activity Key competitors Industry trends 10

11 Tailor Your Resume Good fits move on; bad matches don t Customize to job or internship qualifications Select best accomplishments Present to top 5 must sees 11

12 Prepare questions to ask Strategic Comeback What skills, experience do you look for. Strategic Planning What is the retention rate of newly hired Company Information How would you describe the corporate culture? 12

13 Prepare Your Branding Message Your response to Tell me about yourself Strengths, abilities, knowledge Recent experience, accomplishments Your career goals, ambitions; interest in company Practice, practice, practice 13

14 Dress for Success Business Professional, conservative attire Stylish but not a statement maker Be careful of colognes and perfumes Pre-plan for pressing and dry cleaning Polished dress shoes 14

15 What to Bring: Pad-folio with pen and paper Conservative work bag or briefcase No backpacks! Extra resumes (on resume paper) 15

16 Day of the Career Fair

17 Have a Walkabout Plan Career Fair Get a lay of the land Locate target employers Identify who has long lines Determine your interview order Walk off some initial nerves 17

18 Walkabout part two Employers Pick up media, job listings Eavesdrop on recruiter s personality, communication styles Qualitative vs. quantitative questions Identify their critical needs Warm up with your 2 nd tier

19 First Impressions Confidently approach the recruiter Smile Maintain eye contact Firm handshake Hi, I m, it s a pleasure to meet you. Repeat recruiter s name 19

20 Three no-blink responses 1. Tell me about yourself 2. Why are you interested in our company? or Why are you here today? 3. Why have you chosen this career? 20

21 Booth Etiquette Respect the recruiter s time Wait your turn Never interrupt a current conversation Don t speak negatively about anything Don t just drop a resume and walk away Build rapport with recruiter 21

22 Recruiting for Undergrads? Connect with recruiter Make it an information interview Show your interest in the company Talk shop about the industry; business Ask for the appropriate MBA recruiter 22

23 Closing Impressions Ask for recruiter s business card Inquire about next steps Firm handshake Maintain eye contact Thank you for meeting with me today 23

24 Circle-back Strategy When lines drop off When you are more relaxed To continue a conversation To ask additional questions To build rapport and be remembered 24

25 Post Fair Follow-up

26 Follow-up Strategy Drop off a hand-written note at booth Leave a personal voice mail that evening Send a thank you within 24 hours Reference what was discussed at fair Enclose another copy of your resume Be professionally persistent! 26

27 National Career Expos

28 30-60 Days Prior Register as early as possible; Apply for jobs; recruiters are screening resumes ongoing Conduct pre-conference networking Update LinkedIn to MBA candidate; scrub Facebook Arrange travel logistics 28

29 30 Days Prior Plan your agenda; speakers, networking events Prioritize your target companies Practice your branding message Prepare open ended questions Schedule simulated interviews 29

30 When You Arrive Check in when you arrive Review the expo floor map Attend professional development sessions sponsored and facilitated by recruiters Secure interviews Seek additional networking opportunities 30

31 Tips for Expo Success Anticipate the size; 100,000 sq. ft. Start slow with B & C tier employers Stay focused on targets and goals Ask recruiter for an interview 31

32 Interview Centers Arrive early; allow time to check in One company will conduct multiple interviews simultaneously 200 to 600 interviews happening at once Partitions are walls of cloth 32

33 Questions? Penn State Smeal MBA Program

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