My brother Jacob recently asked me for advice concerning a job fair he was going to attend at The University of Texas at Austin. Jacob is a Senior getting ready to graduate next May, but unlike many college seniors, has much less to worry about than most. He runs his own very successful design studio which he’ll be running when he graduates.
So why would he be attending a Job Fair? There are a few good reasons why he needed to attend this event.
1. Keeping his options open
2. Meeting new people
3. Gain practice networking
When Jacob came up to me, he asked me what things he should do to prepare. Although he would have done amazing without me, I told him he could do a few things to stick out.
The first thing I did was reassured him that he had nothing to worry about. He has a very successful business and he really didn’t need any of these jobs. I told him to view it as a chance for companies like Lehman Bros., Bank of America, and Target to impress him enough to leave his business. With that frame of mind, he would automatically stick out over other students who were hoping to take the first job offered to them.
Don’t Be Afraid to be a Ham
Next, I reminded him that recruiters are people too. They liked to be chatted up and joked around with. Be Charismatic!. Most people at these events are too uptight. They want to “make a good impression” and create a brand image which is professional. I told him to break the rules.
His advisors told him to bring his resumes in a black leather portfolio and to keep the business cards at home as no one would look at them. I told him to do the opposite. How many 21 year old’s have their own company? His advisors also told my brother to keep his resume to one page. While my brother could do this, I gave him the advice to print out his 11 recommendations on LinkedIn and then attach them to his resume. My brother stapled his business card, resume, and LinkedIn recommendations on one pamphlet. How many people actually stick their testimonials on their resume?
At the end of the event who do you think left a more memorable impression? The guy who was chatting up the recruiters with interesting collateral or the hounds of drones with black portfolios and one pagers?