Should I go? Why?
- If you’re looking for a part-time spring internship, or a summer internship in the CU area, all of the employers at this event are local and looking for spring and summer internships.
- If you’re not sure about an internship right now, this fair is an opportunity to learn about some of the options that are available to you locally.
- If you’ve never been to a career fair before, this event is a smaller and friendly opportunity to learn how a fair works and practice talking to employers.
How do I prepare?
- Brush up your resume (or write one if you never have before). Print out several copies to bring with you.
- Go to the Handshake site for the event, and check out the list of employers who will be coming. Read up on a few that are of particular interest to you, and think of some good q questions to ask the representative who will be at the fair.
- Think about what YOU could bring to that opportunity: yours skills, your relevant experience, your interest in the work the organization does. Be prepared to work it into conversation.
What should I wear?
You do NOT need a black suit for this fair, but you should dress professionally: good slacks or a skirt, a collared shirt or professional-looking top, a jacket if you have one, shoes that aren’t sneakers or hiking boots or flip-flops. Wearing the right thing is less important than not wearing the wrong thing: avoid t-shirts, hoodies, athletic wear, jeans, inappropriate accessories, ill-kempt clothes.
Do I need to stay for the whole thing? Should I try to talk to every employer?
No and no. It’s small enough that you could talk to everyone there, but you’re probably better off talking to three or four employers that you’ve researched and prepared for, and then a couple more if time permits. You can show up at any point while the fair is going on, and leave whenever you wish — but generally, the earlier you can get there the better, just because energies flag as the afternoon wears on.
Are there opportunities for non-STEM people?
YES. Elected officials from both ends of the spectrum will be there looking for interns of various kinds. State Farm needs Strategic Resources interns (which can mean a lot of different things, depending on the kinds of projects they’re trying to staff), Japan House wants interns with interests in cross-cultural education and exploration, ATLAS makes it a practice to place non-tech students in tech-related positions…and so on.
Where do I learn more about this fair?
When and where is it?
IMonday, November 6, 3:30pm – 6pm, in Illini Union B&C.
A senior asks:
A few of the jobs I am looking at ask for “salary expectations” to be sent along with my resume and cover letter. Do you have any other advice on how to go about this?
There are a number of resources available to help you figure out what’s a reasonable salary range for the job.
- The Living Wage Calculator will help you to determine how much it will cost you to live wherever the job is. It’s not an answer to the question, but it can help you to determine what your absolute minimum is.
- Glassdoor.com has crowd-sourced information about salaries at specific companies. This information can help you determine what a reasonable salary might be. It also has a “know your worth” calculator.
- Not all locations for all companies are listed on Glassdoor. You can find general expectations by industry for your area with this job seeker’s salary calculator.
- This cost of living calculator can help you further contextualize the numbers the other calculators come up with.
However, your “salary expectations” can also reasonably vary depending on your enthusiasm for the job. If you are genuinely concerned that you lack the necessary qualifications for the job want, then a number below the low end of the range could make you a more attractive candidate for a job that’s something of a stretch. On the other hand, if it’s a job that you’re well qualified for but aren’t excited by, it might be worth calculating the salary that would allow you to feel enthusiastic about the position, even if the number is at the high end. Both of these strategies involve risk — that you’ll be offered less than they might have otherwise been willing to pay you OR that you’ll price yourself out of a job that you’d otherwise be offered.
Here’s a useful article on the vexed issue of salary disclosure.
In a recent blog post, we urged you to go to campus career fairs, which raises the question, “okay…but to apply for what?”
ONE option (there are others — we’ll get to those in future posts) that English/CW majors should know about: management development programs. Sometimes called “leadership development” or “rotational programs,” these opportunities involve a one- to two-year commitment to a mid-size to large company. During that time, the new employee rotates through several different departments, learning how different parts of the company operate, trying out different skill sets, and and getting the big picture that will eventually help him or her flourish in a particular role. If all goes well, at the end of the program, the employee is hired into a permanent managerial role in whichever part of the company is the best fit.
The fall career fair season will start up almost immediately when your return to school in the fall, with the Business Career Fair taking place on Sept. 19 and 20, the largest and most bustling of all the campus career fairs. It will be followed by the Illini Career and Internship Fair a month later. Yes, you should go, even if you’re not immediately in the market for a job. (Definitely go if you’re a senior planning to work after graduation!) Here’s why you should go: Continue reading