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Tips for having a successful Career Conference

The Spring Career Conference is this week. It can be a bit overwhelming -- especially for those who are attending for the first time. As faculty and staff we understand how you may be feeling. We have all been in your place at one time or another.

Here are some tips from the us to you. Good luck! We look forward to hearing about your experience.

Tips from us to you!

Emily Elsner Twesme, Business Communication. Career Conference can be a challenge, particularly for introverts!  Your strength is in your company knowledge and asking smart, well-research questions.  Remember to schedule some down time after the Conference to re-center yourself. 2) Put away distractions -- phones, swag, etc. -- and remember to be present in the moment.  Your strengths will shine through if you let them!

Dr. Bob Erffmeyer, Management & Marketing. Your objective is to move your resume to the ‘call back’ pile.  Be sure to point out to them why they should make that decision.  If they request that you submit information online – do it immediately.  Many students will delay doing this and miss out.  

Jessica Gardner, Management & Marketing. 1) Show confidence and be yourself - it really shows in your body language. 2) Be sure to follow up with those individuals and companies you have interest in working for - connect on LinkedIn or send follow up email (don't forget to take necessary steps to apply also).

Dr. Tom Hilton, Information Systems. Just go! Go when you don't need a job. Go when you're a freshman or sophomore so you can wander around, ask lots of questions, and know you're not hurting your chances of getting a job. Then, when it actually matters, you'll know what to expect and won't be trying to figure things out.

Cindy Hofacker, Business Communication. 1.) The “elevator speech” is really your answer to “So tell me about yourself.” Practice what you will say, but don’t memorize. You want to be natural and engaging. Share your strengths related to the position you are seeking with this company. Look the recruiter/company representative in the eye. 2.) Look for recruiters who are UW-Eau Claire alums. You automatically have a connection, which can help you feel more comfortable with the entire atmosphere of the Career Conference. Ask the alum for advice to you as you finish your academic major at UW-Eau Claire.

Gretchen Hutterli, Dean’s Office. It’s all about networking! Don’t forget to follow-up with the people you have met. That will really set you apart from others. You’d be surprised how many people don’t send a thank you note or email.

Maj. Matthew Kelly, Military Science. Chase a passion – not a paycheck.

Jerry Kollross, Management & Marketing. 1) Research the companies in attendance before you go to the career fair. 2)  Have a plan in place that targets the companies you are interested in visiting. 3) When you get to the booth start the conversation with the company representative by asking a question based on your research. By focusing on the company question first, you get a chance to learn something and get comfortable in the space. 

Tom Mihajlov, Accounting & Finance.  1) The purpose of the resume is to get an interview. 2) Look sharp—dress for success.  3)  Do a bit of research on the companies you plan to visit and ask insightful questions

Christy Mulock, Academic Advising. The experience can be overwhelming if you are not prepared.  Do your homework before the conference; rank the businesses in order from ones you are really interested in to some you hope to talk with if there is time. 

Abigail Nones, Academic Advising. Don’t walk around with your friends at the conference! Recruiters want to see that you have the confidence and professional courtesy to approach and engage them one on one.

Kim Wellnitz, Academic Advising. Shine like a Blugold = good posture, warm smile, firm handshake.

Terry Wells, Management & Marketing. 1) Research companies ahead of time. 2)  Ask your advisor/professors/student group advisor for suggestions of companies to visit. 3.) Have a firm handshake and make eye contact. 

Tiffany Weiss, Dean’s Office. Everyone should go! That includes freshmen and sophomores as well as juniors and seniors.