ARLINGTON - At The University of Texas at Arlington, career services professionals help students prepare for their job searches with activities leading up to the Employer Showcase job fair set for Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the E.H. Hereford University Center, 300 W. First St. The fair is limited to UT Arlington students and alumni only.
The University hosts programs to prepare students and alumni for the on-campus job fair every spring and fall semester, said Barbara Peet, director of Career Services at UT Arlington.
Job fair workshops include roundtable sessions with career professionals and area employers, often UT Arlington alumni, who volunteer to help job hunters. Sessions include what to expect at the job fair, how to dress, resumé preparation and networking skills. Individual resumé critiques are offered at various sites on campus. Programs earlier this month covered internships, jobs for international students and forums on what careers are available for science and liberal arts graduates.
Job seekers are encouraged to prepare and practice a personal "30-second commercial" to talk about themselves and their experience, skills and job expectations, said Cheri Butler, associate director of Career Services.
"People often are ready to talk about their field, but not about themselves," she said. "Most interviews are to determine whether you will fit into the company."
A speed networking event lets students practice their "commercials" with several employers, who give feedback on how the students can improve their presentations, Peet said.
Good manners matter to employers, and an "etiquette dinner" prepares seniors and graduate students to know which fork is which and other table tips, Peet said. The one-time dinner - Monday, Feb. 23 - includes 65 students who dine with local business representatives.
"In our fast food world, a lot of people don't have family dinner at the table," Peet said. "At lunch, dinner, a banquet or at some point in your life, manners will matter."
The University's job-search support continues after the job fair. Upcoming programs include "Deal or No Deal" for job negotiations and "Beyond Monster.com" on widening job search efforts.
Peet and Butler offered these tips for anyone planning to attend a job fair.
- Bring at least 25 to 30 copies of your resumé in a briefcase or portfolio.
- Prepare and practice a two-minute introduction. Describe the job being sought as well as skills and experience.
- Have a list of three to four questions to ask every employer. Have one specific question for each employer.
Dress for success
- Dress for the job desired.
- Dress professionally for every job fair or interview even if the company has a casual dress policy.
Network, Network, Network
- Identify three to five employers to visit, using the job fair list of employers.
- Be direct. Introduce yourself with a smile and a firm handshake. Let them know you're interested.
- Leave a resumé, even if the employer did not ask for one.
- Ask for the employer's business card.
- Network with other job seekers.
- Send a thank-you letter to each employer visited within 48 hours of the job fair.
- Ask the job recruiter when to expect a call. If that time passes, contact them.
Contact Career Services at 817-272-2932 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about UT Arlington's Employer Showcase.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.