6 things to do (or not do) at career fairs

Tags:

For Michiganders, fall is an important season. There’s apple picking, football and scenic drives through leaf country.

And, for those about to earn a degree, there’s job hunting.

Korina Kasperek, supervisor of employment strategy at DTE Energy, said the next few months is among the most important times for college and high school students to get to job fairs and conferences to connect with employers and learn about job opportunities.

“Jobs fairs are a very important part of making a connection — for the employer and the job seeker,” Kasperek said. “Those first connections can often lead to the job you’ve been studying for four years to get.”

Kasperek, who has been working in the recruiting field for 23 years, shared her Top 6 Dos and Don’ts for those looking to land a job:

  1. Know before you go: Identify companies you want to talk with, and research them. “You never want your first question to be: ‘So, what does your company do?’” Kasperek said.
  2. Prepare: “It isn’t a job interview. But it is a job interview,” Kasperek said. Have a friend ask you some basic questions you might get in a job interview, she said, adding that having a classic 20-second elevator speech about your goals and qualifications is always handy.
  3. Dress right: “This one seems obvious,” Kasperek said, “but every recruiting fair you get people who don’t dress for the occasion. You don’t need three-piece suits, but you should look professional.”
  4. Don’t be shy: You’re there to get a job, not to observe, Kasperek said. “Get in there and talk with the recruiters. That is how you make an impression and let people know you’re interested,” she said. “Make a goal you’re comfortable with and make sure you talk to at least that many companies.”
  5. Sign Up: Kasperek said many students just don’t look up where and when jobs fairs are happening. “You have to be there for it to make a difference. Sign up for the conferences, the career fairs and put them on your calendar. Then, show up!”
  6. Take charge: “The career fair doesn’t end when you walk out of the room,” Kasperek said. “Make sure you follow up with emails to those you meet and let them know you’re interested. If you find a specific job, send that link along with the email to let them know you’re interested in that position.”

Recruiters from DTE Energy will be at job fairs throughout the state this fall — from the top of the Upper Peninsula to Wayne State University. We’d love to talk with you. In the meantime, check out our job openings.