Career fair preparation

Preparing for the career fair will help you feel more confident and ready to approach employers. Before the career fair, you should research companies, practice your 30-second “elevator pitch,” be ready to answer basic questions about yourself, and update and print your resume.

Cover letters

A cover letter is sent with a resume to introduce yourself to an employer. The purpose of the cover letter is to get the employer to view your resume and grant you an interview. It is essential that your cover letter is well written as it also serves as a representation of your written communications skills.

Career-related experience

It’s important to get career related experiences as an undergrad. In fact, 89 percent of employers factor in experience when hiring a new employee. There are many ways to get experience while pursuing your college degree through internships, co-ops, volunteering, student groups, study abroad, and research.

GoldPASS

GoldPASS is the University of Minnesota’s online database for jobs, internships, co-ops, and volunteer opportunities. With a GoldPASS account, students can upload resumes for employers to access, sign up for on-campus interviews, research employers, and find career events.

Graduate and professional school

If you are planning to apply to graduate or professional school, there is a lot to know about the application process, including admission exams, personal statements/essays, letters of recommendation, financial aid, interviews, and more.

Interviews

An interview is a conversation with an employer to help you and the organization determine if you are a good fit. The interview is your primary opportunity to showcase your skills and experience. Interviewing is a learned skill, and the more practice and preparation you do the easier it becomes and the more competitive of a candidate you will be.

Job offers

Many factors contribute to job offers, including location, size of employer, type of employer, and professional experience. When evaluating a job offer, you want to research all components of the offer to make sure it is fair and reasonable. You also want to reflect on whether the position and the company are a good fit for you.

Job search strategies

One of the most challenging aspects of the job search process is finding opportunities. Use a variety of strategies such as networking, career fairs, LinkedIn, and GoldPASS to find a company and position that best fit your interests, strengths, skills, personality, and values.

Major and career exploration

Choosing a major or career path is an important, personal decision that requires research, reflection, and time. To start the process, it’s important to understand yourself and gain knowledge about majors and the world of work.

Networking

Networking is building relationships with professionals, especially in your career field of interest. Connecting with these professionals can help you make yourself known in the industry you want to work in, gather career information, and learn about job opportunities.

Researching employers and industries

Employer and industry research helps you learn more about your options and provide important information for your decision-making process. Researching employers allows you to target those most closely related to your career goals. You can also use what you learn to customize your resume and cover letter, prepare for an interview, and impress employers at a career fair.

Resumes

Your resume is an important tool to market your experiences to prospective employers. It is a professional, written document that communicates your education, work experiences, and skills related to the type of position you are seeking. Your resume is a fluid document that should continually change from one application to the next, and it should transform as your experiences grow.