Interviews, résumés, cover letters, oh my. Yes, it's that time of the year. Fall marks the time for career fairs, and we know it can be a stressful time. Whether you're looking for a part-time job, an internship for the upcoming summer, or are graduating and need a full-time job, there's a lot to prepare for. You may be attending one of the many career fairs happening on campus, or you might have an interview soon, or you may simply need some help with your résumé as you begin applying for jobs. Don't get overwhelmed, it's going to be OK! Check out these tips to help you through it all.
Preparation is Key 🔑
Is the gif of Jon Snow (pictured below) what you look like when you think of going to a Career Fair or an interview? We sometimes feel the same way. We're here to ensure you feel much better next time you have to walk into a career fair or sit down for an interview.
Whether it's looking your best for an interview, or making sure you have everything you need before entering a career fair, preparation is always key. There are the well-known to-dos for these events, like buying a suit that actually fits, or chewing gum before an interview to have fresh breathe, but here are some things you may not have considered.
Thank-you notes are a must. Although employers don't expect them, they go a long way. Imagine you are the interviewer, and you have two qualified candidates; one candidate sends a thank-you note and the other doesn't. This is a small gesture that can sometimes be the deciding factor.
The type of thank-you note to use is up to you, but keep it professional. These OSU thank-you notes provide a classy touch.
This is another option of thank-you card. This is a little more casual, but still professional.
Pro Tip: Make a list of companies you talk with at a career fair and send them thank-you cards within the next week. It's a great way for you to stand out among the hundreds of students they met in one day. Make sure you get the name of the employee you spoke with. Addressing a letter to the company without listing a specific employee is a good way to get lost in a mail pile.
Please, please, please, please, please don't have your phone out during a career fair, and especially during an interview. If there was a No. 1 thing NOT to do during an interview, it would be checking your phone, and no employer at a career fair is impressed by the student walking around staring at their phone. This is where the Apple Watch comes into play. This is a great alternative to your phone while providing you a clock. You can check the time and any messages you receive without ever taking your phone out of your pocket. Trust us, it's worth it.
You can also get these awesome OSU bands for you Apple Watch. This metal band is great for professional wear!
This is a Pistol Pete lapel pin. It's OK not to have a lapel pin, but adding a touch of OSU is a great way to show off your school spirit in a professional manner.
Ladies - these look great on a blazer, too.
Gentlemen, please wear a tie to career fairs and interviews. It's better to be over-dressed than under-dressed, trust us. Plus, looking sharp in a suit and tie makes for a great first impression.
Need a tie? There's a large selection inside the University Store.
Plot twist - water bottles are essential in these situations. Picture it: you're at the career fair and your throat is dry from all of the talking you've been doing. Naturally, you visit the nearest water fountain, but in the midst of drinking water, it spills down your shirt. This will not make for a great impression. Instead, bring a water bottle with you. A nice, sleek water bottle will allow you to remain professional while (hopefully) staying dry.
How you feel walking into an interview looking your best.
Ah, our old friend, the résumé. Or, for some of us, our worst enemy. Résumés basically have to be perfect. One typo could be the difference between you getting the internship or someone else. Yes, there is a lot of pressure to have an amazing résumé, but don't worry, there is a great resource inside the Student Union that can help.
OSU Career Services is a resource you need to be utilizing. Located on the third floor of the Student Union, OSU Career Services is a convenient place for you to get help in many areas.
You can schedule a free interview with an OSU Career Services consultant. These wonderful people will look at your résumé and help you make changes to ensure you have the best résumé possible. Make an appointment here.
Can't make it to the Student Union before your upcoming interview? Don't worry, you can browse through their résumé tips online here.
This is what employers will be doing when they see how great your resumé is.
Preparing for an interview is almost always nerve-wracking. Especially if you haven't had many interviews before. OSU Career Services has help for this, too. For a lot of people, having a practice interview before the real thing helps get the jitters out. Schedule a free practice interview here.
Have a Skype interview soon but don't have a professional setting? (Please, don't do the interview in your bedroom. Trust us, there are plenty of better places). OSU Career Services lets students reserve one of their interview rooms for free. These rooms aren't only professional, but they also provide a quiet, distraction-free room. Reserve one by stopping by the OSU Career Services front desk.
Looking for a career fair to attend? Click here to see a list of upcoming events.
All of these tips are great, but they're useless if you don't actually have a reason to use them. If you're looking for a job, there are plenty of resources available.
University Dining Services
UDS is always looking for part-time student workers. There are a lot of benefits to working for UDS. Not only are the schedules flexible to fit your schedule, but you also get a $4 meal credit with every four-hour shift. Plus, what's better than working somewhere you can walk to and not have to drive across town to get to?
To apply, click here.
This is the website for OSU Career Services. This site is the largest job search site for OSU. Listed on this site are part-time, full-time and internship positions on and off campus. It's great to browse through if you know you want a job but don't know exactly where you want to work. Check it out here.
You've Got This
You're ready now, or will be soon. We want you to go ace that interview and land that summer internship. We want you to stand out above the other 300 students at the career fair. We want you to be so impressive that the hiring committee can't say no. Take these tips into consideration as you prepare for these events, and above all else, take some deep breaths and think "I've got this." Next thing you know, you'll be doing what she's doing. ⬇️