Networking & Job Fairs

This page will help you navigate conversations, build relationships, and make employers remember you.

BGSU hosts 2 major job fairs on campus, Fall semester in October, and Spring semester in February.

Job Fairs

  1. YOUR “TOP 10”: Build list of employers you want to visit and establish a plan to see them all.
  2. EMPLOYER 101: Research the companies you are interested in.
    1. Company Websites, Job Fair Guide, Stock & Annual Reports, Social Media Sites
    2. Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Times, other publications…
  3. Create an account! If the company has a "Career" or "Jobs" portal, create an account, and apply to positions that interest you. (impress them during conversation)
  4. PLAN OF ATTACK: How much time do you have to speak with each employer?  Plan accordingly.
  5. DRESS TO IMPRESS: Be sure to dress professional!  Use this guide on our website.
  6. WHAT TO BRING: At least 20 copies of your resume, portfolio, something for employer handouts.
  1. ARRIVE & NAVIGATE: Arrive in plenty of time, learn the layout/locations of your target employers.
  2. ELEVATOR PITCH: Read details in section below: "Elevator Pitch/30-Second Commercial"
  3. LISTEN & LEARN: While waiting, listen to employer and student conversations (discreetly).
  4. CONVERSATION TIPS:
    1. SMILE. :)
    2. Always start with a positive.  (E.g. Don't say "I'm only a Sophomore, but...")
    3. Eye contact at all times.
    4. REFERRAL. If you heard of this company through a friend, etc., mention their name now.
    5. Be friendly and social. (Don't sound robotic and rehearsed.)
    6. Confident posture, stand tall and straight.
  5. BUSINESS CARD: Ask for this after conversation, write notes about your dialogue on back.  
    If no business card, write contact information (Name, Title, Email, Phone) in your portfolio notepad.
  6. Interview offered?  If no, simply ask:
    1. "I've very interested in [COMPANY], are there any interview times available?"
    2. Some employers even wait for this (as a test) to make an interview offer - you have nothing to lose, so ask!  :)
  1. THANK-YOU: Use notes to help write, send employer thank you email. 
  2. EMAIL: Check your email daily for messages from employers.  Follow-up within 24 hours.
  3. FOLLOW-UP: 
    1. Were you instructed to complete an online application?  If so, do this within 24 hours.
    2. Track conversations with employers, use a spreadsheet or similar tool. 

Elevator/30-Second Pitch

OUTLINE:

  1. Who are you? (Name, Year, Major/Minor)
  2. Why did you choose this company? (Specifically, why them?)
    1. REFERRAL: If you know a friend, etc. who works at the company, and they referred you, mention this now.
  3. What are you looking for? (What’s your career/life’s goals?)
  4. How can you help this company? (give examples of skills and accomplishments as assets)
  5. Closing/next step (ask for interview or future interaction)
    1. Interview offered?  If no, simply ask: "I've very interested in [COMPANY], are there any interview times available?  (some employers even wait for this to make an interview offer - you have nothing to lose, so ask!)  :)

THE SCRIPT APPLIED (line-by-line, as listed above):

  1. Hi, my name is Tom Siebenaler, I’m a Junior specializing in Marketing.
  2. I wanted to speak with you today because your company has a proven record of growth—according to recent stock market trends, ethical leadership—through your CEO Mr. Stephen Rollins, and strong profits. I also admire your policies and efforts made to protect the environment and reduce global warming. 
  3. I’m currently seeking an internship for this coming summer 2015.
  4. I feel my skills in market research, data analytics—allowing me to predict market trends, and social skills will help increase profits and productivity at your company.
  5. Should an opportunity exist, I welcome a discussion to detail how I could further assist your company in achieving its goals.
     

This example can be used for the increasing trend of employer video-based interviews/screening sessions.

VIDEO STRUCTURE:
  1. No longer than 30 seconds  (that’s ~80-90 words, or 8-10 sentences)
  2. Clear audio and video quality
  3. Professional dress and background, clean and not distracting
TALKING POINTS:
  1. State your name and specialization
  2. What is your best selling-point (a skill you have, something substantial, not generic)
  3. State an important fact about your industry/business.  (Showcase your knowledge)
  4. State 2 notable accomplishments. (don’t repeat #2)
  5. Why should a company hire you?
SAMPLE SCRIPT:

(numbered accordingly from talking points above)

  1. Hello, my name is Thomas Siebenaler, specializing in Marketing.
  2. My best selling point is my ability to motivate clients to purchase the products I represent, increasing profits.
  3. Marketing is always evolving and trending to influence commerce, especially using social media.
  4. I’ve been able to increase sales by 10% in declining markets and grow sales by 25% in emerging markets.
  5. I’m an asset to your company because I’ll increase your profits and accelerate your workflow.
RESULT:

75 words, 5 sentences, 24.53 seconds, 100% confidence

Networking

  1. QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY. Make good choices when networking. Create lasting relationships that are meaningful. These will be more productive (on a personal and professional level) than merely trying to increase the # of links on your LinkedIn page.
  2. BE YOURSELF. Approach networking as you would approach meeting a new group of friends. The more relaxed you are, the more you will gain from the experience.
  3. KNOW YOUR CROWD. If possible, research the event/group before attending an event. This will help you understand those attending, making the most of your time invested.
  4. WHAT'S YOUR 1ST IMPRESSION? Be mindful of your appearance and candor. Act professionally and outgoing, but at the appropriate level. Never speak ill of others, what impression does that give of you?
  5. FOLLOW-UP. Always send a short-but-sweet email following the event, usually within 24 hours is appropriate.  
You're at a social business event (cocktails, mixer, conference, etc.) and you need to talk to as many people as possible to grow your professional network (within reason), building leads to increase your business.  Here are some suggested steps to an effective approach:
  1. Starting a Conversation
    1. Talk about the organization
    2. Discuss the venue
    3. Mention the view
    4. Ask a question
    5. Find “commonality”
  2. How do you join a group already in conversation?
    1. Slowly insert yourself to the group
    2. Find a pause in conversation to introduce yourself, ask a question, or make a comment
    3. Remember, everyone is there to meet people
  3. Conversation Exit Strategies
    1. Wait until you have just finished a comment; “It was nice meeting you.”
    2. “Enjoy the rest of the…..”
    3. "Would you please excuse me..."
    4. Ask where the restroom is located
    5. Thank the host/hostess
  4. Researching Contacts
    1. Find out who will be there; conduct research
    2. Use the web, event pages, newspapers, etc.
  5. Take notes on contacts/conversations immediately following the event
    1. (Best place is on the back of that person's business card)

Follow-Up

OUTLINE:
1 – Thank you
2 – Personal Note/connection
3 – Future Statement

OUTLINE APPLIED–SAMPLE EMAIL:

Good Afternoon Mr. Rollins,

1 – Thank you for the engaged conversation today, I enjoyed getting to know both yourself and Promedica in greater detail.

2 – Knowing that Promedica cares so intently about their clients and patients means a great deal to me. Especially the “Helping Hand” program, dedicating resources and aid to children makes a potential career with Promedica much more meaningful. This is the type of company I wish to engage with.

3 – I will be completing the online application as instructed and hope to speak with you again in person about my potential employment. Should you require additional information, I’m happy to provide this.

Thank you for this opportunity Mr. Rollins, I truly appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Tom Siebenaler
BGSU College of Business
Junior, Marketing
419-372-4081
thomacs@bgsu.edu
 

A Thank You card can be mailed or delivered in person.

CLICK HERE FOR THANK YOU CARD MESSAGE & SAMPLES