The next steps after EncompassCMU
EncompassCMU is finally here. For some, it’s the first of many job fairs in their college career, and for others, it’s their fourth or fifth job fair this semester alone. This is the time for you to get your foot in the door and get your résumé into the hands of an actual person instead of just blindly submitting it on Handshake. EncompassCMU may be where your work begins, but your job is far from over if you hope to land an internship from any of the companies present.
Follow Up Interviews
Some of you may end up leaving EncompassCMU with an interview from a company you spoke to. It is important that you find out as much information as possible about a company before interviewing with them. You may have gotten away with only knowing the name of the company and what their main business is at the job fair, but that is not enough information for you to make a lasting impression at an interview. Companies want to see that you’re interested and knowledgeable about their company. Take a little extra time to do a bit more research about the specific department you would like to work in at their company. If something about how the company operates is unclear to you, take note of it and at the end of the interview when the interviewer asks “do you have any questions,” you’ll be prepared.
Make sure to also ask about the company culture and views to ensure that this is the company for you. You don’t want to end up spending an entire summer at a company that has an environment that doesn’t fit you well. Internships are important in figuring out what you want to spend your years after Carnegie Mellon doing, and interviews are an integral part of that step.
If someone gives you a business card, make sure to send them a follow up email to discuss job opportunities. Recruiters receive a lot of résumés at job fairs, but by contacting someone after the initial meeting, you can ensure that your name will stand out and your résumé will end up in the right hands.
Career fairs are all about giving your résumé the personality that you can’t always put on paper, and making the effort to contact a recruiter after meeting them shows them that you are persistent and passionate about their company.
Some recruiters will tell you to also apply online after you speak to them at EncompassCMU. This can increase your chances of your résumé being seen and now they’ll be able to match your name and face. If a recruiter is telling you this, it is because they want to make sure that your résumé ends up in their database, so make sure that you do so before the end of the day.
Make a Spreadsheet
Applying, interviewing, and speaking to companies at job fairs can get exhausting. It’s hard to keep track of who you have and haven’t talked to before. Try keeping a spreadsheet of all the companies you’ve been in contact with.
Make sure to update your spreadsheet after job fairs to reflect who you’ve met and interviewed with.
This can also help keep you on track for who to reach out to with follow-up questions if you keep the company’s contact information in the spreadsheet as well. Keep detailed notes of what the job would entail in your spreadsheet so that you know which companies to contact based on your interests.
Don’t Give Up
For some people, all it takes is one job fair or one interview to find a job, but for most others, it could take 10 job fairs, 20 interviews and almost 100 online applications. Everyone’s job search process is not the same. You could end up applying to almost 50 companies before you even get the chance to do an interview. Don’t feel discouraged if EncompassCMU leaves you empty-handed. It takes more than just one job fair to make or break your future career. Persistence is key! So make sure to get out there and give EncompassCMU your all.
For additional help in preparing for EncompassCMU visit the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. or head to CPDC’s résumé blitz on Monday, Feb. 6 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.