Every quarter, students attend the Career Fair and hand over resumes, network with employers and gather contact information — all in the hopes of making that connection and finding the right job or internship. Looking over the horde of brochures and business cards is satisfying, but there’s still uncertainty over what to do afterwards. According to Executive Director of Career Services Eileen Buecher, the key is in the follow-up.
Say thank you
One of the first things students should do is send thank-you emails. Go through the collected business cards and email representatives and employers from the fair. The letter doesn’t have to be fancy, but there are a few important things that should be included.
First, thank the person. Remind them briefly of the conversation you had with them, including who you are, what position you talked about and anything else interesting that may have come up. Next, explain how interesting it was listening to them speak and give a few comments of your own. Finally, end with another thank you, remembering to keep it professional. While it may feel like sweet-talk, a simple thank-you note can go a long way in making and keeping contact with potential employers.
Check job listings
After that, students should check for job listings. Although MustangJobs posts information on many job opportunities, it should not be the end-all for student job searches.
“A lot of the employers, if not all of them, are requiring students to apply through their website,” Buecher said.
The reason for this, according to Buecher, is that many employers need applications to be submitted directly to them to be considered for a position.
From there, the main thing students can do is stay informed. Even if your thank-you email gets no response, it’s not the end of your job search. If you’re interested in working for a specific company, seek out networking sessions hosted by employers on campus. These are short presentations put together by companies that allow students to meet and make connections with more representatives and employers. Even off campus, many companies host regional events for students to interact with representatives.
Talk the talk
Additionally, a key part of networking is mastering the art of conversation. Whether it’s meeting with representatives to try and find common ground, or connecting with Cal Poly alumni in your field, communicating with the right person can make all the difference when applying for a job.
In the end, it’s important for students to be mindful of the process. The trick is to take job searching one day at a time. Otherwise, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with information.
“You’re focusing on your education and your courses and your relationships and socializing, but another piece you need to be thinking about is, ‘How am I going to apply my education?’” Buecher said.
Just asking that question, she explained, can help plan a future in the workforce.
Buecher also emphasizes that while it is OK if you don’t know what to do, it should also be your goal to find out. There are resources on campus, from college-specific career counselors to online checklists, that are available for all students
Information about upcoming events such as career fairs and networking sessions are available online or at Career Services located in Student Services (building 124), room 114. Every quarter, students attend the Career Fair and hand over resumes, network with employers and gather contact information — all in the hopes of making that connection and finding the right job or internship. Looking over the horde of brochures and business cards is satisfying, but there’s still an echo of uncertainty as to what to do afterwards. According to Executive Director of Career Services Eileen Buecher, the key is in the follow up.