Career & Internship Fair - Spring 2015
February 17 & 18, 2015
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
JMU Festival Conference & Student Center
Information for Students
(Not a student? See our page for Employers.)
The purpose of a Career Fair is to learn about jobs and internships available, talk with employers representing different organizations, and network. Here are some other things to expect:
- When you check in at the Fair, you will receive a map of how organizations are arranged. Identify organizations that you want to meet with, and make a plan of action.
- Some organizations bring several recruiters. Focus on one recruiter, and be sensitive of their time, if it seems like they are wrapping up the conversation.
- Some employers may want to schedule an interview with you after the Fair, so be prepared for this possibility.
- CAP can help you prepare for an interview. See our interview preparation page for advice and information about opportunities CAP offers to practice interviewing through our Practice Interview program and our InterviewStream tool online.
Some employers leave early
- Depending on an employer’s distance to travel home, they may leave before the end of the Fair.
- With that in mind, arrive to the Fair as early as you can.
LinkedIn photo booth
- Stop by our LinkedIn photo booth to have a professional profile picture taken while you're dressed your best!
- Don't have a LinkedIn account? Now's the time to learn more and create one.
- Recruiters will see a lot of students, and your resume is a representation of you and your experiences that recruiters will review at the end of the day to determine who to follow-up with.
- You’ll want to have at least 20-30 copies of your resume at the Fair.
- Learn more about writing a resume and opportunities CAP offers to have your resume reviewed by checking out resume section of our website.
Identify organizations that interest you
- It’s important to access Recruit-A-Duke before the event to research the employers attending the Fair and identify who you’d like to speak with. To search the employer listing:
- Login to Recruit-A-Duke.
- Click "Career Events" on top menu, then click the name of the event you are attending.
- Click the "Advanced Search" tab at the top of the screen.
- You can search by major, geographic area, full-time versus internship, or industry. Choose your criteria and click submit.
- Skim through the list of organizations. You'll see the list of majors they are seeking; some are looking for all majors. Note that some organizations use major categories to describe groups of majors, so it's important to know which category is used to describe your major.
- Click on organization names that interest you.
- To see more detail about open positions from that organization, click the Career Fairs tab within the organization listing. Look for the columns that correspond with the Fair you are attending.
- Make a list of the organizations you would like to connect with at the Fair, and be sure to visit those tables first.
- Take time to visit with other organizations as well. Employers are recruiting students who have the skills and personality that are a good fit for their organization. Although they may not have included your major or educational licensure area in their listing, they may be very interested in what you could bring to the position. In fact, 50% of employers who attend the Fall and Spring Career Fairs recruit ALL majors. Furthermore, organizations may have more opportunities available than they’ve included in the Career Fair listing. So take the time to network with different organizations and get the name of the hiring manager for jobs you’re interested in obtaining.
- You’ll want to practice a brief introduction or "elevator speech" prior to the Fair.
- You will only have a few minutes with a recruiter, so you want to prepare a succinct statement to introduce and sell your professional self. Include where you are now (your name, your academic programs, your year), where you have been (prior experiences that qualify you), and where you are going (the type of experience/position you are looking for).
- As the conversation with the employer progresses, you can also mention what excites you about working in this field, how your interests and skills align with what they might be seeking, or what you’re passionate about. Think about what might set you apart.
- You can practice your introduction from home with a webcam by using InterviewStream.
Prepare questions to ask
- As you research organizations, there will be questions that arise, and you should write these down so you remember them at the Fair. You can use employer websites, sites like CareerBliss, and Recruit-A-Duke, to do your research.
- There’s nothing that makes you look less interested in an organization than not having any questions for them, so do your homework!
- It’s okay if you have some questions that you ask all employers, and other questions that are for specific employers.
- This is not an appropriate time to ask questions about salary, but it’s a great time to ask questions about organization culture, training, and the selection process and timeline.
- Create your own questions, but here are some examples:
- What kinds of skills and experience do you look for in the employees you hire?
- Are graduate degrees important to advance within your organization?
- Does your organization hire on a continual basis or during specific times of the year?
- How many years does a typical entry-level employee stay with your organization?
- Are there opportunities for ongoing training and professional development?
- What made you choose to work for this organization?
- Glance at the list of questions you prepared before you arrive at the employer’s booth, so that you can maintain eye contact throughout your conversation.
- Wear a suit if you have one, but if not don’t let that keep you from attending the Fair.
- Dressing professionally includes ironing your clothes.
- It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
- If you have sweaty palms, bring a tissue to help keep your hands dry between handshakes.
- You can drop off your coat, backpacks, or other items in the coat check room in the Festival Center.
- Wear comfortable dress shoes, because you’ll be standing a long time.
- Read more professional attire tips for men and women.
What to bring
- You’ll want to have a padfolio, binder, or folder to keep your resume and prepared list of questions organized. This is also a good place to store materials you receive from employers.
- Resumes (at least 10-20 copies)
- List of organizations, notes, and questions
- Breath mints; not gum
Employers send recruiters to the Career Fair to speak to students about the organization and available positions. A recruiter’s job is to meet, recruit, and screen potential applicants, so don’t be intimidated. They want to talk with you. Many recruiters are also JMU alumni, which can be a point of connection. Here are some pointers for your conversations with recruiters.
- Offer a handshake, and maintain eye contact as you provide your introduction (as described above).
Listen to the recruiter about organization and opportunities:
- After you introduce yourself, the recruiter will describe and provide literature about their organization and opportunities.
- The employer will expect that you ask questions, and they will ask you questions.
- You want to demonstrate confidence, enthusiasm, and interest for the organization. Don’t say anything negative about previous employers, experiences in college, or yourself.
- Always introduce yourself before offering your resume.
- An employer who attended one of our Fairs commented, “Students were walking around sticking out their resumes.” This shouldn't be the first thing you do, and should come after you’ve introduced yourself and listened to the recruiter about their organization and opportunities.
- Often an employer will ask you if you have your resume.
Before leaving, ask employer:
- For a business card or contact information.
- The best way to follow-up with them.
- A time frame of their hiring process.
After the fair:
- Send thank you emails to recruiters that you spoke with if you are still interested in their opportunities. This can easily set you apart from other candidates!
- Develop an organizational system to track all of the recruiters and potential job leads you find at the Career Fair and in your job search in general.
- Continue your job or internship search.
Students can park in Convo lots A, E, or B. See the JMU parking map for these locations.
Shuttles will be running from Convo Lot A to the Festival throughout the event. There will be a tent at the shuttle stop in Convo Lot A.
Attend the Career Fair for a chance to win a $1000 scholarship! Sign in at the student check-in table when you arrive and complete the survey after the Fair to be entered in the drawing.
If the university is closed or the opening of the university is delayed until 11am or later, the Fair will be postponed until Feb. 26th, 2015. If the university opens by 10am, the Fair will run as scheduled. In the event that the university closes during the day, the event will be canceled. For JMU cancellation information go to http://www.jmu.edu or call 540-433-5300.
During the fair, please join in the conversation on social media with hashtag #jmucareerfair or send questions to @jmucap. Your photos on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram tagged witih #jmucareerfair will be automatically uploaded to our Career Fair Tagboard! Check out photos from the Fall 2014 Career & Internship Fair on our Facebook page!
Log in to Recruit-A-Duke for more information on employers and the majors they are seeking. Prior to the Fair, check out our events calendar for upcoming workshops and resume review opportunities to help you prepare.
Contact Chris Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-568-6555.