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How to do your “beary” best at today's Mercer career expo

Tips and Tricks from the Center for Career and Professional Development on how to make a good impression on employers recruiting for internships, jobs, and educational opportunities.

<p>Jay Sanchez, Muhammed Shafiq and Themba Nsubuga attend the Job and Internship Career Expo in the University Center on Sept. 28, 2022.</p>

Jay Sanchez, Muhammed Shafiq and Themba Nsubuga attend the Job and Internship Career Expo in the University Center on Sept. 28, 2022.

Over 90 companies will gather in the University Center on Wednesday for the In-Person Job and Internship Career Expo. This event will give students and alumni the opportunity to meet in person with company recruiters, share their resumes with attending employers and learn about job and internship opportunities.

In addition to encouraging students and alumni to dress professionally and bring multiple copies of their resumes, the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) has created a list of tips to better prepare for the Career Expo. 

Research employers before the fair

The Handshake website and app have many tools available, such as a list of registered employers for the upcoming Job & Internship Fair. It is also recommended to look at the individual companies’ websites to learn more about the company, its mission and any open positions that are available. LinkedIn is also another valuable tool to help with research.

Develop your "elevator speech"

The CCPD defines an “elevator speech” as how you introduce yourself to an employer, demonstrating your interest in the company and/or position in only 30-60 seconds while you're shaking hands. This helps you clearly explain your skills to employers in the most professional way. 

The CCPD has created an easy-to-follow template for an elevator speech:

  1. Hi! I’m (your full name). I’m a/an ____________ major, graduating in ____________.

  2. Next, say something interesting about yourself, something that will impress this specific employer.

    Examples:

    - I just completed an internship with (company name) in the ____________ department. It was amazing…

    - I have a 3.5 GPA and have always excelled academically.

    - I am the president of ___________, (describe the organization: purpose, # of students…).

  3. Wrap it up by expressing your interest in the employer: I am very interested in working with you because… (insert your research).

  4. Finally: May I give you my resume?

Don't leave without requesting a business card so you are able to write a thank you note within 24 hours with your resume attached.

Prepare your resume

Your resume should be carefully looked at beforehand to avoid mistakes. It should also be in reverse chronological order and with everything aligned.

How to dress

Dressing professionally can help establish a good impression on employers, and also makes you seem more prepared. “A suit, in black, navy, or gray, is always the best (and safest) choice for both men and women,” the CCPD says. 

It is also advised to avoid heavy perfume or cologne, keep accessories professional and silence your cell phone. 

What to bring

You should bring multiple copies of your resume, a writing utensil and paper for notes and a confident attitude with “smiles & eye contact to make a great impression,” according to the CCPD. 

Finally, It is heavily encouraged to reach out to the employers you meet with within 24 hours to write a thank you note. 


Maura Rutledge

Maura Rutledge ‘25 is a Journalism student at Mercer University. She has previously worked for The Cluster as an Arts and Culture and News reporter, and currently works as the Managing Editor. She enjoys thrifting, fashion, reading and writing in her spare time. 


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