Quick Tips For Job Seekers
Preparing for career fairs
- Review the list of employers who will be attending. (See Employer Book link for the fair you are attending.)
- Research represented organizations you're interested in.
- Prepare a "one-minute commercial" and practice introducing yourself. Demonstrate your knowledge of the organization, express your interest in them and state what you have to offer.
- Develop a list of questions you would like to ask employers. Don't ask questions that are obviously answered on their website.
- Bring plenty of résumés printed on quality paper.
- Dress professionally. Recruiters should see you as a potential professional, not as a casually dressed student.
Communicating with recruiters
- Prioritize employers you want to meet, but be open-minded about meeting others.
- Do not wander around aimlessly, and do not walk around with your friends. You want an opportunity to talk to recruiters one-on-one whenever possible.
- Introduce yourself with a smile, firm handshake and good eye contact. Be enthusiastic.
- Ask the questions that are most important and relevant to you as you consider a particular company and employment opportunity.
- Be proactive by affirming your interest in the company and connecting your background, skills and interests to the employer's needs. Your interpersonal skills, both verbal and nonverbal, are critical.
- Offer your résumé to the recruiter.
- Ask for the recruiter's business card and company information.
Follow up after the fair
- As soon as possible, write a short letter to recruiters you meet, thanking them for the introduction to their company.
- Use their business cards to ensure that you have the proper spelling and titles.
- Ask additional questions, reiterate your interest and provide details as to why you would be an asset to their organization.
Reasons to attend career fairs
- One of the first steps toward achieving your career goals.
- Efficient and effective way for employers and students to connect and discuss career opportunities.
- Explore careers and gather information about a variety of fields.
- Opportunity to polish interviewing skills.
- Expand networking contacts.
How your interview is structured will depend on the job requirements, the organization's philosophy, the work environment and the interviewer's personality. The following are some of the most widely used interview techniques.
Question and answer
This has been widely used in the past and is the most common interview technique. Basically, an employer asks similar questions of each candidate and subsequently compares and distinguishes the candidates from one another.
The behavioral interview is gaining popularity with many employers. This approach to interviewing is based on the premise that past behavior is a likely predictor of future behavior. During behavioral interviews, each question will probe more deeply to reveal how you approached past situations and the results of your efforts. A typical line of questioning in this interview type might be: "Tell me about a time when you had to use your communication skills to influence someone's decision. What challenges did you face? How did you gain support? What happened next? What results did you achieve?"
The best response to behavioral questions is to use the "STAR" technique to demonstrate your behavior.
- S = Situation – Use a story technique to make a brief statement about the situation.
- T = Task – Explain the tasks to be accomplished.
- A = Actions – Explain the actions you took.
- R = Results – Detail the outcomes of your initiatives.
Employers use the case method to pose a problem relevant to their business. In this method, the candidate is asked to propose logical steps to address a situation. The case approach is used to assess your organizational, analytical and problem-solving approach in unfamiliar situations.
What is networking?
Networking is the art of connecting with others. There are several variations of networking:
- Affinity/trade/business networking: There is a common connection between people, such as sharing similar interests or belonging to the same industry and trade organizations. Contact can be face-to-face as well as electronic (email, chat rooms, internet groups).
- E-networking: Internet groups, also referred to as social networking, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Some of these sites are more common for career networking, such as LinkedIn. Use common sense when you post anything on the internet. Always consider whether you would want a potential employer to see it.
- Social networking: Churches, neighborhoods, clubs, those you come into contact with as you go about interacting with people in your daily life.
Why networking is essential to your career search
While it's estimated that 80+ percent of job vacancies are advertised, in this age of automation, it is difficult to be recognized by applicant-tracking systems (ATSs) for specific opportunities. According to a U.S. News & World Report article, referrals (from employees, employee alumni, vendors, etc.) make up 27 percent of all hires. Those referrals are made through networking. Studies show networking is the most effective way to get a job. When those you network with are aware of your intentions, they can share that information with others. This is how you find out about positions that may soon be open. To effectively utilize networking opportunities, you have to let others know you are interested in exploring career options and what your capabilities are.
Ways to Network
- Join and participate in campus organizations. College provides one of the best networking sources that you'll find. You're mingling among the brightest and the best, and that student sitting next to you in class may one day be the owner of a multimillion-dollar company.
- Attend professional or trade association meetings.
- Talk to your friends' or classmates' parents or your parents' friends.
- Visit with members of your social clubs or religious groups or when volunteering.
- Engage in an exchange of information online with others (e-networking). There are many sites devoted to business networking. Professional associations, alumni organizations, message boards and other online communities are all places that you should visit with e-networking in mind. Recruiters consistently visit these sites to look for job candidates.
The opportunities are endless. Everywhere you go, everyone you talk to, there is potential for meeting someone who may be a link to your future career. So network wisely.
LinkedIn is already established as the go-to social network tool for working professionals. Additional resources have been created for college students. But first, review these LinkedIn How-To resources.
LinkedIn Students is a new app designed specifically for college students who want to get a head start on exploring their potential career options. Finding your first job can be a difficult process, especially if you don't have a lot of professional experience and may not know the best way to start your job search. Through the LinkedIn Students app, you'll be presented with five new daily insights based on your school and major to help facilitate your post-graduate success.
You can swipe left to page through your daily insights:
- Discover jobs and roles that may be a good match for you
- Read exclusive articles for students on how to get the most out of your job search
- Explore different careers paths based on alumni profiles
- View companies to consider based on where alumni work
- Search, save and apply for recommended jobs based on your LinkedIn profile
- Stay informed on events at your school
LinkedIn Jobs can help you leverage the world’s largest professional network to build relationships and connect with opportunity. Harness the power of your network to uncover insights such as whom you know at a company, providing you an edge in your job search. Now you can download LinkedIn Job Search from the App Store!
LinkedIn Alumni can help you explore alumni career paths and build relationships that can help you along the way. Explore your own school or any other (using the “change schools” button) to see what graduates studied, the types of jobs they pursue, the organizations they work for, where they live, their top skills and how you are connected on LinkedIn. All the graphs are interactive; just click on the bars to drill down to the specific careers most interesting to you.
LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts. Learn more about finding groups here. Consider joining ONU groups:
- Polar Careers at Ohio Northern University
- Ohio Northern University Alumni
- Ohio Northern University James F. Dicke College of Business Administration
- Ohio Northern University T.J. Smull College of Engineering
- Ohio Northern University Black Student Union
- Phi Kappa Theta – Ohio Zeta Chapter, Ohio Northern University
- Ohio Northern University Public Relations Alumni (open to students)
- Ohio Northern University Health Care Business Professionals
- Follow company pages too, including Ohio Northern University
- ONU Football Alumni
There are certain skills and traits that most employers seek in potential candidates. Is your college experience providing you with the skills inventory employers are seeking? Review the following examples and see how many are true for you. Think about how you can add to your skill set by participating in campus organizations, class projects and volunteer work. Ascertain how your experiences are developing these skill sets. During interviews, you will be able to demonstrate how you used these skills and traits in these experiences.
When I receive an email or phone message regarding a project I'm working on, I reply promptly. When having a conversation, I listen to what the other person is saying, rather than thinking about what I want to say.
I can be trusted with confidential information. I am very careful to track all transactions when having access to money for an organization.
I get involved in organizing and managing meetings or activities for organizations to which I belong. I typically am willing to take the lead on group projects and utilize persuasion skills to guide people.
I effectively use a daily planner. I practice time-management skills and can prioritize and handle multiple deadlines.
I set goals for myself and work hard to achieve them. When I have a task to accomplish, I prioritize my workload to make sure I complete the task on time.
I take an active role on teams I'm involved on and contribute to make sure goals are met. I am open to my teammates' ideas and opinions.
I consider the consequences, positively and negatively, when making decisions. If I question the accuracy of something important that someone says, I check out the facts before making a decision.