Social Media – Friend or Foe?

This post was written by Career & Leadership Development staff Nicole Golden and Jan Bilgen.

For each of us, social media technologies create a number of opportunities to share, foster, learn and connect. With each opportunity there is a chance you might enhance your life or complicate it. Here are a few suggestions to insure that your social media interactions enhance your personal and professional life.

Social Media

No matter what, once it’s out there you can never take it back

Just because Facebook has a delete option on your posts and comments or on pictures doesn’t make it 100% true. Anything on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. can be downloaded, or emailed around to any number of others or sites. Think of all the great and witty tweets or posts you’ve seen and how they’ve gone viral. What if that was a picture of you doing something questionable? Or a post or comment that was hurtful? Written in anger? Think twice before posting. Ask yourself, what do I hope to “add” to my presence on social media with this?

Consider multiple profiles

Separation isn’t always as a bad thing. If you don’t want to edit your statuses or think too hard before you click, consider having multiple profiles. Be very sure that those you “friend” or “follow” on each of those profiles should be there. I have a professional Twitter account where I only tweet work-related items of interest. LinkedIn connections that you accept should only be professional contacts if you choose to follow this approach. Because social media is an amazing tool to connect, most people start with friends and then blend in business connections, but consider the opposite. Seek professional connections first.  Starting a professional “profile” on a social media outlets will not only let you create your personal brand it will let you protect it.

Don’t let social media replace face to face connections

In today’s world, it is much too easy to only connect and communicate with people via social media. However, it requires technical interest and resources so might not be everyone’s first choice in connecting. Social media contacts should broaden in number and in quality your relationships. Relationships must have direct connections in order to be improved and maintained. That means face to face opportunities, phone calls, Skype, etc. in addition to what you are posting and tweeting. In order to have impact on what others perceive about you, you must be able to interpret their non-verbals and have a higher chance of being understood.

Know that social media (i.e Facebook and Twitter) can be huge time drains and drama vortex

Time seems to slip away if you’re plugged in 100% all the time. Being too “plugged-in” can hurt the task at hand, like homework or work in general. You may seem distracted to those you are around and is seldom positive multitasking. Use of social media can also impact your friendships in a negative way. It oftentimes is a method that individuals use to drag others into their problems or arguments. They also use it in a passive aggressive manner. Beef with something? Find a non-social media way to vent or clear the air of frustration- talk in person.

Remember, social media was created to connect and make the world more open and connected. According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, “We hope to strengthen how people relate to each other and even if our mission sounds big, it starts small — with the relationship between two people.” So take a minute before you click, post and celebrate and make those relationships strong and productive!

Photo by Yoel Ben-Avraham.

Friday Favorites – Five Social Media No-No’s

Raise your hand if you have Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Raise your hand if you’ve ever posted something you regretted. Now, I can’t see you reading this, but I can imagine you have posted or tweeted something you later regretted, whether it was bashing your former boss, your ex-boyfriend, your professors, your parents, or the driver who cut right in front of you during rush hour.

Bad-mouthing (or should we call it bad-tweeting?) is just one common mistake that many people make online. The thing about having social media accounts is that it lets you ‘hide.’ It provides you a sheath. This can be both good and bad, but when it comes to entering the professional world, which many upperclassmen are about to experience, you shouldn’t have to hide behind the computer.

Social Media apps

The hard truth is this: employers WILL not only Google you, but they will search you on Facebook, Twitter, your personal blog if you have one, and of course, LinkedIn. You do not want a potential employer to see a negative tweet and exile you from the list of promising candidates. Here are five short and sweet tips for what not to do on social media:

Don’t Bash Anyone

This includes former coworkers and supervisors and current coworkers and supervisors. I know it can be tempting to post something about how the person who beat you for the big promotion sounds like a hyena when she laughs, but keep it to yourself or tell a close friend (someone who isn’t your coworker, preferably).

Why not try talking to that person directly about what made you upset? It will show maturity and professionalism, whereas bad-mouthing someone on social media will make you seem immature and ignorant. Also, what’s worse than being called into your supervisor’s office because you tweeted about how your supervisor is just terrible at running meetings? You might get fired, so there’s that.

Don’t Use Expletives

This one should be common sense, right? Wrong. So many people my age swear to their heart’s content on Twitter and Facebook. It’s tasteless, unclassy, and extremely unprofessional. Also, keep slang terms and terms you’ve found on Urban Dictionary down to a bare, BARE minimum (I’m looking at you, YOLO).

I understand that the occasional swear word can help in some extreme cases, but keep it to a minimum. Unless you plan on being a comedian. And if you are, good luck with that.

Don’t Post Inappropriate Pictures

This one should also be common sense, but I see this on Facebook way more often than I’d like to. I understand that many college students want to celebrate their 21st birthday, graduation, and St Patrick’s Day and Homecoming. I get it – I’m a college student, too! Take as many pictures as you’d like – but make sure that the worst ones don’t end up on Facebook. Employers may interpret your constant party pictures as wildly inappropriate and something that wouldn’t fit in to their office culture.

Not sure about which photos to keep and which to delete? Check out this article – 12 Facebook Photos You Should Delete Now

Don’t Pick Fights

We’ve all seen them – the infamous Facebook arguments. Someone posts about a controversial topic, someone else comments about it, more people comment, and all hell breaks loose. While these are undoubtedly hilarious, they’re also embarrassing if you’re caught in the middle of one. Facebook is not the place to have an argument, especially one about politics or religion. I know it’s hard to resist, but your professionalism depends on it!

Don’t Post Without Proofreading

While having a post with a few typos isn’t as bad as having a post filled with swear words and inappropriate pictures, it’s still a bad thing. Potential employers will see your text speak and wonder if you ever went to college. You do not want potential employers to wonder about that sort of thing! So, just like you would with any document, essay, article, or e-mail, proofread your work before you hit ‘send.’

One way to let your feelings out is to write on the computer what you’re mad about. You can even go so far as enter it into the Facebook post box or Twitter tweet box, but before you hit ‘send,’ delete it. Getting your feelings out can make you feel a hundred times better.

I’m not saying that you should not have a personality when you tweet – because by all means, tweet to your heart’s content! But be smart about what you post. Your social media presence should be squeaky clean, especially for those of you entering the workforce!

This post was very negative, but next week’s post will be all positive! It will be all about how to post things of substance, how to connect with potential employers, and how to have a positive experience on social media.

Photo by Jason Howie.

This Week in Hawk Jobs

What’s new in Hawk Jobs for the week of October 7, 2013.

Job Tip 5

Business & Finance:

  • Accounting Intern – Digi-Star LLC (Job ID 24523)
  • Sales & Marketing Internship – Scot Forge (Job ID 31259)
  • Accounting Administrator – Footlocker.com/Eastbay (Job ID 31286)
  • Manager – Milwaukee Grill (Job ID 31258)

Art & Communication:

  • Weekend Weather Anchor/Multimedia Journalist – WIFR-TV (Job ID 31301)
  • Communications Program Manager – Alliant Energy, Inc (Job ID 31302)
  • PR/Social Media Intern – Communication Strategies Group (Details)
  • Marketing Specialist – Design Partners (Details)

Education & Social Services:

  • Behavioral Health Program Manager – Door County (Job ID 27659)
  • Math Teacher Residency – Match Education (Job ID 25880)
  • Volunteer Coordinator – Urban Ecology Center (Job ID 31269)
  • Professional Tutor, Mentor, and Role Model – City Year (Job ID 31278)

Humanities:

  • Law, Government, Non-Profit Internships – WISH Internships (Job ID 29065)
  • Graduate Public Service Intern – University of Illinois Springfield (Job ID 27843)
  • Safety Intern – Silgan Containers Manufacturing Corporation (Job ID 31310)
  • Visitor Services Coordinator – Visit Eau Claire (Job ID 31295)

Science & Technology:

  • Software Developer/Programmer – Dart Chart (Job ID 9337)
  • Part-Time Safety Assistant – Jones Dairy Farm (Job ID 31223)
  • Environmental Specialist – Alliant Energy, Inc (Job ID 31273)
  • Data Processor – Mandli Communications, Inc & Roadview, Inc (Job ID 31240)

For more student jobs, internships, entry level positions and campus interviews visit: http://www.uww.edu/career/hawkjobs.php.

Use our hashtag #HawkJobs on Twitter for anything related to Hawk Jobs or jobs that you’ve found through the website!

Photo by UWW Career.

How to Network on LinkedIn

These ten tips, taken from LinkedIn, are too good to pass up, so I had to post them on here. All credit goes to LinkedIn for creating these tips.

Great day at LinkedIn HQ!

Whether you just created a LinkedIn profile or have had one for years, using these tips to network on LinkedIn can be helpful for everyone!

1. 100% Complete = 40x More Opportunities
You can’t build connections if people don’t know who you are or see what you have to offer. Your LinkedIn profile is your online business card, resume, and letters of recommendation all in one. Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.

2. You’re More Experienced Than You Think
The more information you provide, the more people will find reasons to connect with you. Think really broadly about all your experiences, including summer jobs, unpaid internships, volunteer work, and student organizations. You never know what might catch someone’s eye.

3. Use Your Inbox
Contrary to popular belief, networking doesn’t mean reaching out to strangers. The best networks begin with those you know and trust, and then grow based on personal referrals. Start building your LinkedIn network by uploading your online address book and connecting to friends, relatives, internship colleagues, and professionals you know in the ‘real world.’

4. Get Personal
As you build your connections on LinkedIn, always customize your connection requests with a friendly note and, if necessary, a reminder of where you met or what organization you have in common. If you’re being referred by a mutual friend, write a brief intro of who you are and why you’d like to connect. You’ll impress people with your personal touch.

5. Join the ‘In’ Crowd
Another way to form new online relationships is to join LinkedIn Groups. Start with your university group – alums love to connect with students – and then find volunteer organizations or professional associations you already belong to. As a member, you can comment on discussions, find exclusive job listings, and meet people who share common interests.

6. Lend a (Virtual) Hand
As you build connections and group memberships, think about what you can do to support others. Comment on a classmate’s status update or forward a job listing to a friend. You’ll find that your generosity is always rewarded (and you’ll feel good about it!)

7. Update Your Statues #Early and #Often
Networking is not just about who you know; it’s about who knows you. Stay on other people’s radar screens by updating your LinkedIn status at least once a week. You can do this directly on LinkedIn or by linking your Twitter account and tweeting with #in. Mention events you’re attending, projects you’ve completed, and other professional news.

8. Question (And Answer) Everything
LinkedIn’s Answers feature is a great place to seek advice from a wide variety of people all around the world. You can also show the world what you have to offer by answering people’s questions about a topic where you have some expertise. The more active you are in Answers, the more people will view your profile and want to connect with you.

9. Do Your Homework
Before an informational interview, a job interview, or a networking get-together, use LinkedIn to learn about the background and interests of the people you’re scheduled to meet. Access Company Pages to research organizations and their employees, and use Advanced Search to find things you have in common with people you’re meeting.

10. Now Step Away From The Computer…
Be sure to support your online networking with real human contact. Set up phone calls, attend live events, send snail mail notes to people you interact with on LinkedIn. Remember that online methods should supplement, not replace, in-person relationship building.

Photo by Link Humans.

Friday Favorites – 5 Favorite Tips to Succeed on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the top professional social media network out there. Surprised? Probably not. Here are five tips for you to take the most advantage of this website.

Succeed on LinkedIn

Have an Appropriate Picture

  • One thing that I see all too often are inappropriate, awkward, or just plain terrible headshots on LinkedIn. Having a great picture with a webpage full of text will really balance things out. People will also be able to place a face with a name if they view your profile and then meet you sometime later.
  • If you need a professional headshot, Shannon, the other social media student manager, and I will be providing free headshots at our LinkedIn photoshoot sometime in November. We hosted a LinkedIn headshot photoshoot at the Hawk Career Fair last week and it was a great success! More than 200 students were photographed. You can view the photos on our Facebook page, and stay up to date on the next LinkedIn Headshot Photoshoot through our social media channels.

Make a Unique URL

  • One cool thing you can do on LinkedIn is to create a personalized URL. When you first make a LinkedIn profile, your URL will look something like: LinkedIn.com/329849351982. This looks really messy! Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do this:
  1. Hover over Profile and click Edit Profile.
  2. Click Edit next to your given URL.
  3. There will be a box on the right side of the screen saying Your Public Profile URL. Underneath, Customize Your Public Profile URL
  4. Here is where you can personalize what comes after LinkedIn.com. Most people use their full names when creating a new URL.
  • By personalizing your URL on LinkedIn, it will help your profile look more professional. People will remember LinkedIn.com/KelseyWelke rather than LinkedIn.com/293848611232. This process is really easy but many people don’t take advantage of it.

Give and Receive Recommendations

  • This is probably my favorite aspect to LinkedIn. When you first filled out your profile, you might have listed some skills you possess. These show up under the Skills & Expertise section in your profile. Once you start getting connected with people, they may recommend you for your skills. This is similar to when you +1 on Google+.
  • It’s always nice to get recommended for your skills by your peers and colleagues. As an etiquette tip, always recommend them for the skills they have back!

Join Groups

  • If you’re really interested in your field of study or a specific aspect of it, join a group that is catered to that. Groups on LinkedIn are great ways to connect with your university’s alumni, professionals, staff members, and potential employers.
  • But, don’t go overboard. You only need to join as many groups as you want to have networks in the professional world. You don’t need to join the 3,701 Public Relations groups – only join the ones you are really interested in.

Read Your Home Feed

  • Treat LinkedIn’s home page like you would your Facebook wall. Scroll through it and see if anything catches your eye. Check out some articles, see what your friends are up to in the professional world, and get a feel for what the professional side of LinkedIn is really about.
  • Pro tip: ‘Liking’ an article or commenting is a great idea! Also, if you know of any articles that are relevant to your field of study or things that you want to share with your network, go ahead and share it! You never know who will ‘like’ or comment on it, and who knows what could spark from that conversation.

How To Create a LinkedIn Profile

So you’ve created a Facebook page, you have a Twitter account, you’re on Instagram, Foursquare, and Pinterest, but why aren’t you on LinkedIn?

Turns out, creating a professional account is just as important as having accounts on the ‘fun’ social networks. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network. There are more than 225 million users, and you should be one of them!

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a LinkedIn profile.

How To LinkedIn

This is the first thing you’ll see when you click onto the LinkedIn website.
LinkedIn 1

Yes, creating an account is free and doesn’t take much time at all. After you’ve entered your information and click Join Now, this screen will pop up.

LinkedIn 2

You can choose to add contacts from your e-mail address contact book, or you can skip this step.

This will be the next page that you will be sent to.

LinkedIn 3

The neat thing about LinkedIn is that you can follow celebrities who you are interested in, sort of like ‘liking’ pages on Facebook. You can always come back and follow individuals if you don’t want to do it at this time.

Nice! This is similar to what your profile will look like so far.

LinkedIn 4

You’ll be asked a series of questions, which will be in blue boxes above your profile picture. You can answer, add a picture of yourself, or skip and answer later.

LinkedIn 4 Pics

If you click your profile and then click Edit, this screen will pop up. You can always go back and edit sections of your profile by clicking the Edit button or the Improve Your Profile button. You can add parts about what kind of work you did at your last job, you can add college courses, you can add leadership positions you’ve had, and more.

LinkedIn 16

When you click on the Profile tab, this is similar to what you will see.

LinkedIn 5

You’ll soon find out that LinkedIn is more than just a social network. It’s more than a place you can post your resume. LinkedIn is a place where you can connect with your peers and staff and faculty, learn more about what kind of career you want to get into through blog posts, comments and special interest groups, and network with professionals who are in the field of interest you want to get into.

I hope this basic tutorial has helped you start your LinkedIn profile! Throughout the month of October we will be posting many more blog posts about how to network by using LinkedIn, sample invitations when asking someone to be your connection, good and bad profile pictures, and many more tips. Stay up to date with other helpful LinkedIn and social media articles by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

Five Post-Career Fair Tips

So you made it through the Hawk Career Fair – phew! Take a deep breath; the hardest part is over with. The only thing left to do is follow up with employers.

Hawk Fair 1

It seems like many students forget or disregard this step, which can hurt them in the long run. I’ve developed five post-career fair tips that can help you stand above the rest. You don’t have to complete all of these steps. Only do what you feel is comfortable and appropriate.

Send Employers a Thank-You E-mail

Do you ever notice how nice it is when someone thanks you for your time or service? Pay it forward, and thank the employers you talked to at the career fair for their time. Over 100 employers took time out of their day to attend this fair. Many employers do this annually, and even more travel to other college campuses to present at more career fairs. If you send them a quick e-mail, chances are, they will remember you. They might even jot down your name or e-mail address to remember it when you interview for them!

E-mailing an employer is an easy way to get recognized and to be remembered. Ideally, you should send this e-mail 24 after the interview or career fair, but, better late than never!

Connect With the Employer on LinkedIn

Did you have a great conversation with one of the employers? Did you network with another student or staff member? Connect with them on LinkedIn! LinkedIn is a powerful tool to use when searching for a job, and the more connections you have, the better (that is, if you personally know all of your connections!).

Tweet at the Employer or Company

If you don’t know that using Twitter to help you get a job, then I don’t know what rock you’ve been living under. Twitter might be the next best thing, under LinkedIn, of course, to help with your career path. If you’re active on Twitter, tweet about your experience at the Hawk Career Fair. Tweet to the companies you’re interested in, tweet at the employers you talked to, tweet about the positive things you experienced at the career fair, and tweet about where you see yourself in a few years! (Just don’t overdo it!) Employers will see the positive energy you elude about their company, and they will love it.

Got an Interview? Celebrate! (And Prepare!)

Some employers at the Hawk Career Fair will invite you to be interviewed with them when you talk to them. Some won’t, and that is okay. Every company has a different way of hiring and conducting interviews. If you do get an interview, make sure you prepare for it! Their first impression of you at the career fair was great, now make sure you shine in your interview!

Check out these archived blog posts about interviewing – Top Interview Tips; Common Interview Questions & Answers; Tricks and Treats of the Interview Process

Create a Pro-Con List

Were there more goodies at this year’s career fair than ever?! I’ve never seen so many pens, stress balls, hand sanitizers, stuffed animals, and food! I hope you snagged just as many business cards as you did free pens, because for this step, you need to sort out all the business cards and write a pro-con list of which companies you liked and which ones you didn’t.

Then, evaluate the pros and cons. Why did you like a certain company? (It better not be because their pens write better than another company’s pens!) What is important to you in a career? This will help you better evaluate where you see yourself working after graduation.

Photo by UWW Career.

Friday Favorites – Career Fair To-Dos

The Hawk Career Fair, an annual event hosted by Career & Leadership Development, is less than a week away! To get you prepared for the event, here are some last minute to-dos.

Career Fair The George 2012

Do Your Research

Get Professional

  • Make sure you have at least a dozen copies of your resume. Bonus points if it is printed on thick resume paper!
  • Take a stack of your finest business cards with you. Secure them with a paperclip.
  • For women, go for a pantsuit, skirt, or dress. Blazers are a very smart option as well.
  • For men, slacks, dress shoes, a button-down and tie are recommended.
  • Employers aren’t looking for flashy jewelry, fishnet tights or stripper shoes. Keep it classy.
  • Make sure you have something to carry all of your resumes, business cards, and freebies in. This can be a professional tote, a padfolio, or even a simple, plain folder will do.

Practice, Practice, Practice

  • Practice your elevator speech over and over until you feel totally comfortable saying it to a potential employer
  • Do you have a million achievements on your resume? Okay, overachiever, slow down. Talk about only a couple of them to each employer.
  • If you’re not used to walking in heels and you’re planning on wearing heels to the Fair, practice walking around your house in your heels. And make sure you break in your new shoes before the big day!
  • Try on your career fair outfit the day before to make sure you don’t have any loose threads, stickers, or tags sticking out.
  • Have trouble making eye contact with others, making conversation, or shaking hands? Practice these things with a friend.

Calm Your Nerves

  • When you’re about to head into the Career Fair or in between rounds, take five deep breaths.
  • Remember – it’s not the end of the world if you mess up on your elevator speech, or stutter on your name or major.
  • Keep a smile on your face. If you’re too nervous to, at the very least, don’t frown. Nobody will want to talk to – or hire – a nervous Nelly or angry Allen.
  • Stay positive and focused. It is hard to stay focused when there will be over 100 employers and even more students, but keeping a positive mind can help you shine above the rest.

Last Tips to Keep in Mind

  • While chewing a piece of gum is smart while you’re walking to the career fair (you do not want dragon breath at the career fair!), make sure you spit it out before you take one step in the gym.
  • Turn your cell phone on silent. The last thing you want is to be interrupted by your friend’s snapchat of their cat while you’re talking to an employer.
  • Make the most of your time. You might only get to talk to an employer for 10 minutes or so. Network with as many employers as you can, and keep an eye on the time.
  • Eat before you attend the career fair! You definitely don’t want your stomach to be growling when you talk to your dream company about your involvement with student government.
  • Make sure you follow up. By this, I mean e-mail the employer you talked to thanking them for their time and ask any questions you might have.
  • In retrospect, going to a career fair is kind of like a mini-interview. If you get a call back asking you for a real interview, celebrate! You made it through the first round.

 Photo by USC Upstate.

Resumes For Career Fairs

This article was written by Kathy Craney, Career & Leadership Development career counselor.

When sitting down to write your resume for an upcoming career fair, consider two things…

  1. What have you done? (Skills used)
  2. What were the results? (Benefits to your employer, organization, etc.)

During the construction of your resume for a career fair, also keep in mind the skills most employers are looking for:

  • Communication
  • Analytical
  • Computer/Technology
  • Flexibility/Adaptability
  • Management/Leadership
  • Interpersonal
  • Multicultural Experience
  • Planning/Organizing
  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork

Can you indicate how you’ve used these skills and what the benefits you achieved were?  Construct brief bulleted statements under each of your headings (ie. Work Experience, Organizations, Community Service/Volunteer Work, etc.) and you should be able to effectively demonstrate to any employer why you would be an asset to their organization.  Of course you want to also demonstrate your competence using skills specific to the industry you’re hoping to enter.

One last thing about Career Fair Resumes – Be aware that some companies cannot accept a hard copy of your resume and will ask you instead to apply online.  You should realize they are not brushing you off, but are complying with federal regulations on data applications and efficient management of their data.  Also, be aware they may be taking notes (mentally or written) on candidates they’re interested in.

A few resources:

Friday Favorites – Top Information to Gather About Career Fair Employers

So, you’ve printed out a dozen copies of your resume, you just bought new shoes, and you’ve practiced your elevator speech in front of the mirror every day for the past week.

All set for the Hawk Career Fair on September 25? Not quite. First of all, break into those new shoes! (You don’t want to go to the Fair with new shoes. That will make for sore soles and blisters!) Second, read these five tips on how to research employers who will be at the Fair. While you may have some of the  ‘fun’ stuff done, such as picking out what you’re planning on wearing and updating your resume, doing research is just as important.

New shoes

First, find out which employers will be attending the Hawk Career Fair. You can find this out on Hawk Jobs. First, log in where it reads, ‘Student/Faculty Login.’ If you’ve never been on Hawk Jobs before, it will require you to fill out your profile. Second, click the tab at the top that reads, ‘Career Events & Workshops,’ and then click ‘Hawk Career Fair.’ There will be a blue button at the top that says, ‘View Employers Attending.’

Know The Basics

You never, ever want to go up to an employer and ask, ‘So, what does your company do?’ Don’t make this mistake! Instead, find about 5 or 10 companies that are attending that you are interested in and browse their website – but don’t limit yourself to just their website. Their Facebook page or Twitter can also have some great information that might not be found on their website. You’d be amazed at what you can learn from their tweets and Facebook posts! Bonus points if you ‘like’ and follow them on Twitter!

What is some basic information you should know about them? Where they are located, if there are any job or internship openings, if the company is big or small, what products the company has released, if the company has won any recent awards, when they were established, and their mission statement. A good idea is to jot some of the information down in your padfolio (we’re giving away a couple at our Resume Doctor events next week if you don’t have one yet!) or a notebook and review the information before you start to talk to them.

Are They Hiring?

One of the main reasons employers attend the Hawk Career Fair is because they are looking for jobs or internships to fill. They are looking for YOU! You can find if there are open positions on Hawk Jobs, on their website or on their Facebook page. If you are having trouble finding the information, sending the HR employer a quick e-mail or LinkedIn message asking about jobs or internships won’t hurt!

Research About Their Open Jobs/Internships

It looks like the company you’re interested in is hiring! That’s great! But… your major and minor don’t exactly qualify you for the job. That’s okay! This is why it is good to research jobs and internships before you step foot into the Williams Center Gym. If employers might not see that your major or minor line up with the position they’re trying to fill, a good idea is to write down all your strengths, extracurricular activities and leadership positions that are relevant to the position you’re interested in.

Use LinkedIn To Your Advantage

A good idea to have an edge over the competition is to search your top 10 employers on LinkedIn. More than likely a UW-Whitewater alumnus may be employed there, and chances are they’ll be more than happy to talk about their experience at said company. A good idea is to send them a message or e-mail asking what the company culture is like, what entry-level jobs or internships are like, and what they like about working for the company. You’ll get some insider tips that can put you ahead of the other students applying for the same job.

Prepare Questions To Ask

Every company at the Hawk Career Fair will be different – even those in the same industry. This is where you need to dig deep and frame your questions to fit each company. If you know that a company wants you to apply online for a job, ask the employer who reviews the application, and what happens after you click ‘send’? If you’re applying for a specific position, ask the employer what the biggest challenges are for that position. If you didn’t get a clear understanding from the company’s website, ask the employer what their company culture is like.

I hope these five tips will help you at the Hawk Career Fair and other fairs to come! As always, the career counselors are here in Career & Leadership Development to help you every step of your college career.

Photo by Mingo Hagen.