Career Fair Tips from the MTMC
With Michigan Tech’s Fall Career Fair just around the corner this Wednesday, the MTMC is proud to present some tips from both corporate recruiters as well as our writing coaches to help improve your resume, feel confident about your elevator pitches and interactions at Career Fair, and land a sweet job! The Fall Career Fair brings in over 400 companies and 2,000 recruiters, so it’s more important than ever to present yourself in the best light, stand out from the crowd, and show that you’re the best hire for the position.
Let’s take a look at some general last-minute tips and tricks you can adjust on your resume before heading up to the SDC. Keep in mind – resumes vary from industry to industry, so if you’d like some more personalized help schedule an appointment with us at the MTMC to work one on one with a coach!
General Resume Tips
- Don’t use fancy fonts
- Many resumes are processed by automatic systems and fancy fonts can make it harder to detect what you put on your resume. Additionally, non-standard fonts can make it harder for a recruiter to quickly understand what you’re trying to convey.
- Generally stick to 1-page (with the exception of academia & government)
- Unless you’re presenting a CV or a government resume at Career Fair, be sure your resume is not longer than one page, otherwise the recruiter is less likely to read through it all. Make the most important information the easiest to find.
- Tailor the resume to the job posting & company (keywords)
- Although it sounds like a lot of work, if you tailor your resume to target keywords on the job description you’re applying for, you’ll likely see greater success rates and land more interviews.
- Keep it as up to date as possible
- Most recruiters aren’t interested in high school jobs or extracurriculars, try to focus on important classes, involvement at Michigan Tech, and any side projects that are relevant to the position.
- Don’t forget about extracurricular involvment
- Building on from the last tip – extracurriculars like fraternity or sorority involvement, volunteering, student orgs, or other involvement that highlights interpersonal or technical skills are a great way to show you’re a well rounded candidate for a position.
- Use color tastefully, don’t overdo it
- Standing out from the crowd is important, but if you go too far the recruiters may not take your resume seriously.
- White space is almost as important as text, beware of clutter
- Too much information can overload a recruiter and be less impactful than a well organized resume.
- Don’t use a font smaller than 11 pt
- The focus of a resume is to get an interview, so highlight the important details in an easy to understand manner – small fonts distract and make it harder to parse information.
Tips from a Ford Recruiter
We interviewed a Ford recruiter about what they look for at recruiting fairs. Here were the highlights!
#1 The number one thing they look at on a resume is experience. While you can definitely spend all day agonizing over which fonts to use on your resume or if you should use an accent color or not, it really comes down to presenting your most meaningful job and project experience. Highlight internships and jobs first, and then extracurricular project experience. If you haven’t had an internship yet, or are just starting out, you can supplement your resume with class experience.
#2 Be ready to talk about your experiences. Use your resume as a springboard to jump into conversations, but really get into it. Have 3-5 canned stories in your back pocket, ready to go if you are asked questions. Good topics include overcoming issues with projects, or working on a team.
#3 Don’t just list software you know how to use, explain how you used it, and how it helped the outcome of the project. This shows your mastery of a skill, as well as showing that the work you did had an impact on your company.
#4 Don’t hide behind an NDA. Even if you had to sign an NDA for your internship, you can still talk about your project more generally without giving away company secrets. Being evasive can make it seem like you didn’t really accomplish anything on your internship, even if you did really good work.
Having a solid resume and knowing how to sell yourself to companies will give you the skills you need to land that job at career fair. Check out the video below on elevator pitches for more tips on talking to companies!
Feel free to stop by the MTMC to work on your resume anytime. Good luck at career fair!