MINNESOTA'S PRIVATE COLLEGES JOB & INTERNSHIP PREPThere are several things that you can do to ensure a satisfactory experience at the job or internship fair. From past experience, we know that those students who are most successful at the fair spend 15-20 hours applying to organizations in advance of the fair, researching companies/organizations, and perfecting their interview skills. The quality of your experience at the fair will be directly related to the effort you put into prepation.
There are three separate ways for you to set up individual interviews at the fair. You will want to utilize all three means of connecting with employers.
- Upload a copy of your resume to the mnpcfair.org site. Beginning in January, employers will have access to the resume database so that they can begin reviewing the qualifications of students attending the fair. From January until the fair, employers will be scheduling pre-arranged interviews by contacting you directly.
E-mail/mail a resume and cover letter using the contact information on the employer list to request a pre-arranged interview (detailed instructions are outlined below). Beginning in January, employers are giving early consideration to those students requesting pre-arranged interviews. This is your chance to target employers of most interest to you and call attention to yourself as the perfect hire for a particular position or internship.
- Market yourself effectively to employers at their exhibit booths on the day of the fair. You will have a very short time - one to three minutes - to make an impression on each recruiter you approach. Employers will meet all interested candidates during the open booth hours and schedule remaining individual interview appointments with selected candidates.
Here are some additional tips to help you prepare for the fair:Prepare a resume
- If you have not yet started a resume, check out the online Resume Guide for format and content ideas.
- If you have a draft of a resume that you'd like critiqued, stop by the Piper Center anytime between 9:00-5:00 Monday-Friday.
- Make a sufficient number of copies of your resume on high quality bond paper to bring to the fair (buy resume paper at places like Target, Insty Prints or the Print Center on campus). You should be able to estimate the number of contacts you will want to make at the fair to judge how many resumes you will need by using the employer list.
- A pre-arranged interview is one that is scheduled before you arrive at the fair. By writing to request a pre-arranged interview you are calling attention to your qualifications prior to the hustle and bustle of the fair. Target those organizations that are of most interest to you with a cover letter and a resume (organizations willing to receive resumes in advance of the fair are noted in the employer listing). If you receive a pre-arranged interview, you will not need to stop by that booth on fair day. If you write but do not receive a pre-arranged interview, don't be discouraged (not all organizations schedule them); simply introduce yourself anew at the booth on fair day.
- Letters requesting pre-arranged interviews should be sent as early as possible, as you will be competing for a limited number of pre-arranged interview slots with students from other private colleges.
- In the first paragraph of your cover letter, in addition to introducing yourself, state your interest in a specific position or internship. Mention that you will be attending Minnesota's Private Colleges Job & Internship Fair, February 20-21 and request a pre-arranged interview.
- Check out the on-line Cover Letter Guide for ideas and sample cover letters. Once you have a draft of a cover letter, stop into the Piper Center for a critique.
- This is the most time-consuming part of the preparation process but undoubtedly the most crucial. Recruiters will expect that you know something about the positions they are offering and about the company/ organization they represent. Last year, several recruiters screened students by starting their conversations with the question, "What do you know about (company name)"?
- To begin the research process, access the Employer List Online. The list of employers will appear; choose the employers/ positions of interest to you. Those employers who have a web site of their own have a web address listed.
- Some recruiters from the fair sends us company information in advance of the fair. This information is in a file cabinet in the Piper Center. Ask one of the peer advisors for help locating the information.
- A mini-benefit statement is a concise way to introduce yourself and pique the interest of a recruiter. Be creative in putting together a 20-30 second sound bite that will link your skills to a specific position, highlighting your best qualifications. The on-line Benefit Statement will help you get started; the longer version of the benefit statement outlined in the on-line handout will assist you in continuing your conversation when a recruiter asks, "Tell me more."
- Prepare answers highlighting your skills and experiences for various types of interview questions. See the on-line Interviewing Guide to learn about the different types of interviews and view sample questions.
- Print off a copy of an interview scheduler so you can be prepared for any potential interviews.
- Transportation will be available if you signed up for it and were not placed on the waiting list. The bus will leave Buntrock Commons at 7:30 am. The bus will leave the Convention Center at 1:00 pm.
- If you are driving yourself to the fair, here is a map. In your timing, be sure to allow ample time for travel and parking. Be sure to bring enough money for parking. Some booths may take credit/debit cards, but to be certain, bring cash.
Job & Internship Fair Workshops:
Fair Prep Sessions (you MUST attend one):
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 4-5pm, Tomson Hall 280
Thursday, Feb. 14, 11:30-12:30pm, Tomson Hall 280
Additional Prep Sessions Include:
Resume Workshop –
Monday, Feb. 11, 3:30-4:30 pm, Tomson Hall 210
Interviewing Skills Workshop -
Monday, Feb. 18, 3:30-4:30 pm, Tomson Hall 210
Alumni HR Panel and Networking Event -
An opportunity to connect with and learn from experienced and young alumni from companies attending Minnesota's Private Colleges Job & Internship Fair
Monday, Feb. 18, 6:30 pm, Sun Ballroom
We urge you to start preparing for the fair early. The Piepr Center staff are eager to help you have a good experience; ask us your questions, have us critique your resume, and get our feedback on your benefit statement and answers to interview questions. We will be very busy in January and February, so call early to schedule an appointment.