I don’t know why but I find job searching to be interesting and kind of fun. Since The Placement Exchange & ACPA’s conference are right around the corner, I thought I’d share some tips based on my experiences as an interviewer & a two time interviewee. I’m going to break this down into a couple of installments starting with what to do prior to a job fair (if you’re going to one)
1) Ask for feedback. You should look to your colleagues, mentor(s), & supervisor(s) for feedback on cover letters, resumes, what to wear, etc. I found that there are lots of people who are willing to share their experiences with others.
2) Be honest with yourself. By now, you should be determining what type of positions you’re interested in, what your geographic scope it, & what you can offer to an employer.
Also, you should be thinking about questions that you would like to ask employers and make sure to ask thought provoking questions in addition to the generic ones that everyone asks. The questions you ask can leave a positive impact on employers.
3) Practice, practice, & more practice. One thing that I thought was extremely helpful was that my grad school set up mock interviewer for graduating students. The room was set up like the job fairs so that we could become familiar with the settings. We had to submit 3 jobs we were interested in & alumni created questions to interview us. Each job was with a different alum which helped to see different styles & a broader scope of questions.
If your grad school doesn’t offer this, I recommend asking some folks your trust to do some mock interviews with.
4) Do as much prep work as possible. I like pre-scheduling interviews with employers (if they offer the option). I don’t think you should set up all your interviews prior to you get there but if there’s a job that sounds awesome to you, go for it. Also, if you do pre-schedule space them out so that you have time between interviews to process & relax before tackling another.
I would also make all your resumes/cover letters to distribute, your “notes for employers”, & info about employers (mission, goals, etc.) ahead of time. The job fairs can be intense, long, & time consuming. The more you can do ahead of time, the less you need to worry about while you’re at the fair.
Got any questions? You can ask me on Twitter or leave a comment & I’ll respond to you.