Stamm Technologies and Stamm Media recently took part in a Fall Career Fair at UWM (don't worry Marquette, we'll be there in the spring!) and I came away with a few helpful suggestions for those looking for job and internship opportunity. I'm by no means an expert, but these are just a few tips to make a strong impression.
Do be yourself
Speaking for Stamm Technologies and Stamm Media, we want people to be themselves throughout the hiring process. Even if you’re not the most qualified or top of your class, there are aspects of your personality that could shine through. A sense of humor is always great, too!
Don’t wear sweatpants
Outside of meeting directly with clients, we don't have a strict dress code when it comes to our office atmosphere. That being said, you have to put some effort into your appearance. There was a guy walking around the career fair in sweatpants and I almost wanted to hire him simply for the gall it takes to pull that move. Dress for the job you want, and push the limits of "business casual" afterwards.
Do make eye contact
As someone who habitually orders food online so I don't have to talk to another human being, I get being awkward around people. The difference is when presenting yourself as a prospective job/internship candidate, you need to be assertive and confident and that is translated immediately through eye contact.
Don’t apply for internships you don’t actually want
If you're at a college career fair, chances are you're still in school. This is not necessarily a time when you have to settle for an opportunity that doesn't have what you're looking for. Chase the opportunities that excite you! We understand that internship experience is more important than ever, but if you don't want to be here it will show. Also congratulations if you caught the double negative above, but unfortunately we're not hiring English interns right now. My slight grammar mistake lives on!
Do have a resume
This is a great move to look prepared. Have multiple copies of your resume printed out. The application process for both jobs and internships has largely moved online, but having a resume in person is still a must have. We can immediately look over your experience and related studies and determine if you'd be a good fit. This also goes hand-in-hand with being yourself because we can choose you on the spot!
Don’t have a resume that’s more than one page
There is no reason to have a resume over one page. Everything you need to tell me should fit on one page (especially for college students!). Also (coming from our HR department), you do NOT need to include an 8 x 10 headshot.
Do talk about the company (if you did research)
We don't mean be intimately familiar with us, but a general idea of who/what we are is a great look. It can be as simple as, "Well I know Stamm Technologies is an I.T. company, but can you tell me more about the type of I.T. work you do?". Walking up and saying, "So what is this company?" makes less of a good impression. Honesty is always key, though. If you don't know who the company is, it's ok!
Don’t fake it if you didn’t
This goes along with the last point. We know our company thoroughly. If you are pretending, it shows pretty easily.
We did our best to be honest with all the prospective attendees at the career fair as well. Talking about job responsibilities, ability to adapt, and office culture were our main topics. I hope these will be helpful down the line, but the most important takeaway is #1. Always be yourself and someone will take notice.
P.S. Complimenting the employees working at the career fair never hurts either!