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How to make the most of Pacific’s Spring Internship & Job Fair

Career fair pro-tip: approach an employer with a genuine smile and firm handshake and you’ll be on your way to making a great first impression.

It’s almost time for Pacific’s Spring Internship and Job Fair! On March 28, dozens of employers from various industries will visit campus to share information about their companies and recruit Pacific students for internships and entry-level jobs. The event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., is organized by Pacific’s Career Services department and is open to all Pacific students and alumni.

Employer representatives will include Pacific alumni, company recruiters and hiring managers. It’s a fantastic opportunity to network and find new opportunities that you won’t want to miss.

But how should you prepare for the big day? Bailey Gutierrez, interim director for Career Services, shared six tips for making a great first impression with your dream company. 

1. Make sure your resume is up-to-date

If you are looking to land interviews this fall, bring resumes – lots of resumes! Ten to 15 copies minimum is advised.

Make sure you’ve updated your resume to include your most recent positions, skills and experiences. If you need help with your resume, you can make an appointment with Career Services through Handshake and get advice from their expert career advisors. 

Bring along a padfolio or nice notebook to keep your resumes tucked in. It’s also a good idea to take some notes and stash any business cards or information you collect from employer booths.

2. Dress to impress

First impressions are lasting. If you are actively applying to internships or entry-level jobs, professional dress is your best choice to stand out. If you don’t have professional clothes to wear, the Career Services Center – on the second floor of the McCaffrey Center – has you covered, free of charge.

“Utilize the Career Closet!” Gutierrez says. “We have a lot of professional clothing – head-to-toe attire.”

3. Prepare for introductions and networking

When you approach an employer, give a genuine smile and offer a firm handshake or gentle fist bump. Your intro should include your name, major, graduation year and what you are looking for (internship or post-college job).

And remember, practice makes perfect! Though it seems a little awkward and uncomfortable to talk to yourself in the mirror, that’s a good start. You can also find a peer who is also planning to go to the fair and practice your introductions with each other.

And don’t forget — you can always stop by Career Services to prepare to connect with employers and get tips on networking. 

“Come practice with me or anybody in my office!” Gutierrez encourages. “We’re happy to help you. Make mistakes and get feedback from us, and then go and put your best foot forward with employers.” 

4. Do your research

When you’re speaking to an employer, if you can share something you’ve learned about their company because of the research you’ve done before attending the fair, that will impress them.

If employers see that you are prepared, they will know that you came here ready to have a meaningful interaction. Tell them what stood out about their organization and inspired you to visit their booth.

“One thing I encourage students to do is look at the company’s mission statement to see if their values match. Then, you may find out that you’d really like to work with them,” Gutierrez says.

6. Follow up ASAP

If there is an immediate opening/opportunity to secure an interview, the best follow-up is to get your application submitted as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the last minute to submit by the deadline – show them you are serious and apply ASAP.

If you’re not ready to apply for positions yet but want to stay in touch with a company for the future, send an email or LinkedIn message to thank the recruiter or other employer representative for their time at the fair. This will make a positive impression.

As you’re crafting your message, Gutierrez recommends mentioning something you discussed with them at the event, like a project their company is working on. You should also express your desire to stay in touch with them, so you’re fresh in their mind if and when they are hiring.  

“After the career fair, reaching out to an employer is 100 times easier because you have a previous connection,” Gutierrez says. 

Ready to make invaluable connections? Don’t miss the Internship and Job Fair on March 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the DeRosa University Center. For more information and to register, visit the event page on Handshake.

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