Career Week is coming up fast, and with the switch to the virtual platform, it can seem a little overwhelming. Luckily, there are a number of resources on campus and online to help you get out there (or online) and make great connections in your field.
Career Week starts on Monday, Sept. 28, and each school/college will have a day where industry professionals and recruiters will be available to network and answer questions. Before you do anything else, you need to register for the career fair(s) you want to attend. You can find career fair registration by logging into Handshake, clicking on the career services tab and scrolling down to the “Upcoming Career Fairs” heading.
Here is a schedule for the week:
- STEM Career Fair (Engineering and Computer Science, iSchool and Architecture): Monday, Sept. 28, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Graduate and Law School Information Fair: Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1-3 p.m.
- Business and Communications Career Fair: Tuesday, Sept. 29, 3-7 p.m.
- Syracuse University Career and Internship Fair: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Student Veteran Career Fair: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 4-7 p.m.
Once you’re registered for a career fair, you can view a list of employers and what positions they’re recruiting for. Each employer has time slots for group information sessions as well as one-on-one sessions. Make sure to sign up early to ensure you get the time slot you want. And don’t forget: no matter what your major is, you’re welcome to register for as many fairs as you want.
Now that you’re signed up, it’s time to get ready.
So, what do you need for a career fair? Here are a few things you might want to do to prepare.
The first thing most people think of when they think about a career fair is a resume. Having a well written resume is crucial to showing an employer what you’re all about. Even if you currently don’t have a resume, Syracuse University is now offering VMock, an online resume building tool. Log in to VMock with your SU login credentials and follow the tutorials. Next you can make a resume by following the template provided or upload your current one. VMock will give you instant feedback on your resume and show you where and how you can improve it, then you can rework it and upload it again for additional feedback.
2. Interview Skills
Career week helps you learn more about certain jobs and companies, but it also helps employers learn more about you. This is why it’s important to know how to conduct yourself in a professional interview. You can learn about interviews and the skills you need to ace your next one on the Big Interview platform which can be accessed with your SU login. If you want some real life practice, schedule an appointment with the career services team to conduct a practice interview.
The career fair is your chance to learn about the industry you want to work in, or maybe even explore new industries. If you want to know anything about a job, the hiring process, what it’s like to work at a company, or even if you just want to network, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
4. Dress the Part
Even on the virtual platform, it’s still important to maintain your professionalism. Make sure to dress in professional attire, just like you would do if you were interviewing in person. If you need some professional clothes, check out the JCPenney Suit-Up virtual event where you can save 30% off professional clothing.
It’s also recommended that you use a professional Zoom background. Check out these custom SU Zoom backgrounds.
Now that you’re registered, you have a resume and you have some good questions to ask, you’re ready to crush it at the career fair. Be outgoing, be confident, and keep an open mind. And remember, there are plenty of resources at SU to help you make connections in your field and get your dream job.
Written by Noah Lowy ’21, S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications