About Codi Freiberger

Codi Freiberger is a Marketing Intern for UW-Whitewater Career and Leadership Development. He is a senior communications major with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in media art and graphic design. Codi remains very involved around campus and in Greek Life. Being a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, he has held the Public Relations Coordinator position for two terms, held Member at Large for a semester, and currently holds the Associate Educator position. Codi has been a member of Disability Advocacy Awareness Coalition as the Marketing Coordinator, Residence Hall Association as a Co-Programmer, held a Senate chair in Inter Fraternity Council, and participated and planned events held within GAMED. Scheduled to graduate December 2016, Codi looks forward to working for Career and Leadership Development and continuing his education with marketing and social media.

Continuing Your Professional Development Over Winter Break

Winter break is here at last! Indeed, it is a time of fun and leisure for all, but don’t forget to continue your professional development. Continuing to further your professional development is key and will help you stand out from other candidates!

A great strategy to start off with is polishing that resume! Begin by taking a look at some of the employers you’d like to work for, or networking opportunities you have planned for the future. Tailor your resume to each individual meeting, interview, company, etc.  Remember that a resume should rarely exceed a page in length!

Networking is another great way to continue your professional development during winter break. Any professional networks and recommendations you might already have are important. Make sure you categorize and/or write down all of these resources. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to also send a Holiday greetings! It is a great way to start up a conversation if you haven’t spoken in a while. Remember to keep it simple as people do vary in their religious beliefs and holiday celebrations.

When it comes to networking, knowing the different types of networks that are out there can be beneficial. The top three networks to keep in mind are your Formal, Informal, and Academic networks.

  • Formal: Managers, members of your professional team, links with your professional association or trade union, formal mentoring relationships and tutors.
  • Informal: People you lunch with, develop ideas with, people you seek help and advice from on an informal basis.
  • Academic: Tutors, teachers, fellow students, staff, alumni and advisors.

Oftentimes it can be intimidating to approach some members of these networks. Could you seek their support? What could you have to offer them? How does one even approach them? Here are some helpful tips to guide along this process:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask. You won’t go anywhere or make any progress without taking some chances. You may be rejected, but that does not mean you failed. Focus on other people you wish to contact and how they can benefit you.
  1. Be explicit about what you seek, and make it relatively modest. Public figures often have concerns about talking on open-ended commitments, so be explicit about what you want and then be prepared to modify this if the contact says, “I am not prepared to give you that, but I will give you this.”
  1. Ask if there is anything that you can do in return. Writers, in particular, often want their ideas testing with groups of potential users, so if you have access to such people either through school or work, offer to write up some results and send it to them.
  1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! If the target of your attention has written or made public speeches, get a hold of the text and approach them as an informed and interested inquirer, rather than a professional networker.

Polishing your resume and networking are key to anyone looking to develop as a professional and winter break is the perfect opportunity to do so. The amount of interviews scheduled during breaks, especially winter, is low. So take advantage of any opportunities and put yourself out there! Don’t forget to spend time with friends and family of course, that is what breaks are for!

For more professional development tips and information, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter

Post-Career Fair Tips

Attending a Career Fair isn’t always enough. You have dropped your resumes and got the business cards. What is there to do now? Just sit and wait for a phone call or an email? There are actually steps to take after attending a Career Fair to ensure you stand out amongst the hundreds of students that attended the event as well. Here is a short list of the most effective ways to get that internship or job opportunity above the crowd:

1. Start Getting Organized

Networking with employers is in many ways a daunting task. Especially when you have just spoken to a handful of employers and recruiters. So the best way to stay ahead is to create a document that organizes what organization or business you spoke to. If you have a business card staple that to the document next to the corresponding name, or simply make note of the recruiter. It will also benefit you to write down anything you might have said that stood out during your encounter. This way you have a conversation starter during follow-ups.

2. Follow-up

If you grabbed a business card or two (which you most definitely should have) remember to give those recruiters a ring. Make sure to stay fresh in their mind and give them a follow-up call. There are really two general routes you can take when planning that conversation. Depending on the relationship you might have with the recruiter, it might be note worthy opportunity to call within 24-48 hours. If it was a recruiter whom you have never met before, realize that these recruiters travel from Career Fair to Career Fair and do not necessarily have the time to chat right away. A rule of thumb is to wait about a week and a half’s worth of time before following up. This is to give them time to sort through resumes and to catch them when they are not focused on recruiting during Career Fair events. Remember, a well-planned follow-up will show dedication and leadership.

3. Update and Professionalize LinkedIn

100% of employers look at LinkedIn; make sure they can find you! That is probably the most important aspect. But a professional account will put you in a different league than the competition. GET A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT! If you do not have one already, get one. No cropped pictures allowed and definitely make sure you have a picture of you in your best outfit uploaded. Not having a profile picture is the worst possible scenario on LinkedIn. This cannot be stressed enough! Make sure EVERY question/aspect of the profile is filled out to the best of your ability. This profile is your E-resume and should be treated as such, professional and complete.

4. Continue Practicing

Interviewing well is most certainly a skill. And like any skill when you don’t utilize it, you lose it. It will keep your skills sharp and ready for your next opportunity.

5. Reflect on the Experience

How do you think you did approaching recruiters? Here is a list of questions to ask in reflection on a performance:

• Did I prepare for the Career Fair?
• Did I make enough networks? More than 3?
• Did I give my 30-second elevator speech?
• Did I have any memorable conversations?
• Did I learn anything about a potential employer or myself?
• Would I do anything differently next time?

Hopefully your Career Fair experience was memorable and you gained some new networks. Sometimes the preparation for a Career Fair can be daunting in itself and you have to decide if all that preparation is worth it to find your career. I can tell you it most certainly is. These Post-Career Fair tips are just as essential, maintaining professionalism and taking initiative will put you ahead of the heard. Anything we might have missed? Do you have a follow-up experience to share? Let us know in the comments!

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Sources:

7 Things You Need to Do After Attending a Career Fair. Retrieved October 3, 2015.

Focus on Follow-up – nationalcareerfairs.com. (2015, January 30). Retrieved October 4, 2015.