Finding Public Career Fairs

The University of St. Francis Career Success Center offers excellent opportunities from career fairs, career month, and other networking opportunities. These are all great resources to take advantage of, but it can never hurt to expand your network outside of USF. Public career fairs are a great way to do this. They are free to the public; all you have to do is register and show up! What’s stopping you? Get out there and build your network!

  • By creating a Handshake account, you have access to public career fairs as well as events at USF and other surrounding schools. Handshake is also helpful for tailored job searches, employer reviews, and connecting with your peers. Create an account at joinhandshake.com and use your MyUSF Portal information to log in and get searching.
  • jobfairsin.com is a great resource to find public job fairs not only in Illinois but other states year round.
  • nationalcareerfairs.com is another resource for finding career fairs all over the country, all through the year.
  • https://www.myemploymentoptions.com/register-for-virtual-job-fair/ offers online job fairs in addition to job listings open to all.

By attending multiple job fairs, you can expand your network, grow your confidence, and become a more marketable job candidate. Be sure to update your resume before every event you attend, and maintain a professional manner to be successful at any career event you may attend.

Dealing With Illegal Interview Questions

When interviewing for a job, you should understand your rights as an applicant. You have the right to certain privacies and by law, employers cannot ask you questions regarding specific personal information.

So what can and can’t an employer ask you in an interview? Specifics on age, gender or sex, religion, country of origin, disability, pregnancy, marital or family status, living situation, if you’ve previously applied for workman’s compensation, credit, and financial status are all examples of topics that should not be explicitly asked in an interview (“Illegal Interview Questions- What Not To Ask Candidates”, 2019). If the applicant offers the information on their own, that is at their discretion. The interviewer may ask around these topics in order to be sure that the applicant is available and physically capable of doing the job, but that is the extent that the questioning can go.

Why would an interviewer ask these personal questions in the first place? Some may ask because they want to get to know more about their applicants and they are unaware of what is appropriate and what is not, but applicants are still entitled to privacy rights. Especially in the cases of questioning that may have discriminatory motives, the applicant is not required to answer illegal interview questions.

So, what do you do if an interviewer asks an illegal or inappropriate question? Depending on your personality and comfort with confrontation, there a few ways to handle this situation respectfully and maturely. The simple one—answer the question. For example, if asked about your religious beliefs, you could answer “I attend church, but I prefer to keep my views separate from work” (Doyle, 2019). This way of dealing with the situation is much less confrontational, but still gives up the applicant’s rights to privacy. Applicants are also entitled to not answer these sorts of questions. If an applicant feels uncomfortable or like their privacy is being invaded by the questions, they could simply ask how the information relates to the job being discussed. If it doesn’t, redirect the conversation.

Furthermore, if a truly inappropriate or offensive question is asked, this is the time to decide if the employer is one in which you would like to work. IT is not a good sign if your interviewer is unaware of what questions can and cannot be asked. Pay attention to your impression of the culture at the workplace, and think about if it is one in which you would enjoy to work and thrive.

Although most HR personnel should be familiar with (and using) the appropriate practices for interviewing candidates, it may not always go as expected. If you are an applicant that is educated on your rights, and you communicate effectively, this should be of no issue.

References:

Doyle, A. (2019, March 14). Tips for How to Answer Interview Questions Employers

Should Not Ask. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-answer    inappropriate-interview-questions-2061334

 

Illegal Interview Questions – What Not to Ask Candidates. (2019, May 22). Retrieved from

https://www.betterteam.com/illegal-interview-questions

 

For more information, check out these helpful articles:

https://www.betterteam.com/illegal-interview-questions

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/job-interview-questions-that-are-illegal-1918488

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-answer-inappropriate-interview-questions-2061334

Dress to Impress

When interviewing for a potential job, it’s important to look your best and make a good first impression. All you will need is a few staple items that can work for any interview or professional event you have. For women and men alike, it is important to take care of your professional clothes to make sure they’re always clean, free of wrinkles, and properly fitting.

Men’s Professional Dress

When considering what to wear for an interview, consider clothing that is professional but comfortable. If you are comfortable in your clothing, you are more likely to be confident and do well in your interview. Wear a pair of nice pants, a shirt and a jacket that fit well.

In addition to fit, your ensemble should match. The shirt, pants, jacket, tie, and shoes you wear should all coordinate and go together seamlessly. For example, men should have a black, grey, or navy blue matching pants and jacket that could easily pair with a white or light blue collared shirt, and a plain tie. Shoes, usually black or brown, should be polished and match the color of the belt you wear as well.

Your attire is only the beginning: you must be well groomed. Men’s hair should be well kept, and facial hair should be properly groomed.

Women’s Professional Dress

Women’s professional clothing can be very simple to create a wardrobe that is timeless. Women have an array of choice for professional looks. Women can wear sleek dresses, slacks, blouses, blazers, heels, flats, scarves, and multiple combinations of these to create a professional look. Like men’s clothing, these items should match or be coordinated to look put together, and well kept. Clothing should fit properly (not too tight, not too loose) and be able to conservatively cover chest, stomach, legs, and bottom. For an interview, a conservative look is recommended.

Women should be sure to keep a basic look, with neutral colors and clothes that aren’t distracting. Bright colors and prints shouldn’t be worn to an interview, nor should eccentric jewelry, makeup, nails, and other accessories. You can still be expressive, but keep flashy and dramatic pieces away from the interview.

Overall, as long as your clothes are pressed and well put together, and you keep your look simple, you should be ready for any interview. After all, the interview isn’t about your clothes, so you don’t want to outshine your personality with your clothing choices. Remember if you think maybe something you have on is inappropriate or not a good fit, you are probably right. Update your appearance and land the job.

Keeping it Real (On Your Resume) with Kellie Wujek

Our Career Success Center’s new Career Advisor, Kellie Wujek, is a resume expert. She has shared some basic tips on achieving resume success:

Q: How should recent college graduates organize their resumes?

K: For college students and recent grads, education should always go towards the top, and under your name and contact information. It should remain there until you’ve gained a couple of years of experience in your field.

Q: How can I add personality to my resume?

K: That’s a tough one. It’s better to focus on customizing your resume for the job in which you’re applying. Save your personality for the interview.

Q: What are some tools to help me create my resume?

K: Your Career Success Department and YouTube. Avoid paying “resume builders”.

Q: What are your top 3 do’s and don’ts of resume writing?

K: You will get better results with quality over quantity. Take the time to customize your resume. Use keywords from the job posting.

Q: How do I tailor my resume to the job in which I’m applying?

K: In your profile summary, and by using keywords in the entire document.

Q: Can I add non-job related experiences and achievements to my resume? Where?

K: Volunteer and clubs/cocurricular activities can often fit under “Leadership Experience”.

Q: What are some formatting tips to help me make sure my resume works well with resume review scanners?

K: Avoid odd fonts and the use of italics.

For more resume or job search help, or to make an individual appointment to discuss your resume further, stop into the Career Success Center in N204 in the Tower Hall and meet with one of the advisors.

Preparing For An Interview

Picture of Young woman and recruitment procedure in corporation.

You finally get the call you’ve been waiting for… you landed an interview for your dream job! This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, and you really want to nail that interview, but how? How can you be sure to stand out against your competition? Have you created an A2B Marketing plan?

What’s an A2B Marketing plan?

Much like B2B (Business to business) or B2C (Business to consumer) marketing, A2B (Applicant to business) marketing is how you reach the company you’re applying to and convince them that they need you on their team. In other words, A2B marketing is how you market yourself to the company and sell yourself as the best candidate for a job. Here’s how to start your A2B Marketing plan.

Start with research

Researching the company you’re interviewing for is one of the most important steps in the A2B and interview processes. It will give you a better idea of what the company and its employees do, what the goals and values of the company are, and what type of employees and customers the company has. Research the company’s website, social media, and LinkedIn. Doing your research is also expected by most employers. If you show that you’ve researched the company before the interview, it shows you have an interest in the company, and you are serious about the position. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to ask better, more meaningful questions at the end of the interview.

Prepare your Documents

During a job search, your resume is your greatest asset, and it can make or break your chances at a position. In most cases, the resume is the first impression of the candidate, and so you want to use your resume to leave an impression on your reader. For more information on writing a resume, check out this article.

Next, you should create a cover letter. Not all applications require a cover letter, but your cover letter is a good place to outline your A2B skills and let the company know why you’re the candidate they should choose. Just like your resume, it is best practice to tailor your cover letter to the company in which you are applying.

If your application requires recommendation letters, you should reach out to your contacts and provide them with some context about the job. Receiving recommendations can help you stand out from other candidates.

Choose an appropriate outfit for the interview

When deciding what to wear for the interview, it is important to keep in mind that you want to impress the interviewers with your achievements and skills—not your outfit. You should dress sensibly and professionally. There’s no reason to wear any flashy or distracting clothing or accessories to the job interview. Make sure your clothes are clean, wrinkle-free, and fit properly.

Practice

Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience; and if you come unprepared, it will be evident. Take a moment to draft out some answers to questions like, “Tell me about yourself” and “Why should we hire you”.  Have an idea of what some strengths, weaknesses, and experiences are that you’d like to highlight. Also, think about a few examples that show your work ethic and show your ability to follow through.   Even if these specific questions aren’t asked in the interview, you can use these stories to show how valuable you are, and by telling a story, you are making yourself memorable to those who are interviewing you. Practice telling these stories in a way that show your strengths, and how you can add value to the company. Mock interviews can also be conducted at the Career Success Center if you want extra experience answering interview-type questions. Practice and preparation are two components to a solid A2B promotional plan. By practicing, you become more confident in yourself and you will connect better with the interviewers.

Get to the interview

Much like a job, you should NOT be late for a job interview! Be sure to give yourself enough time to get to the interview accounting for traffic, weather, etc. You want to be there at least 10 minutes early, ready to go. Make sure to bring extra copies of your resume, a notepad, and a pen to the interview. If applicable, you should also have a portfolio of your work with you. Leave your phone out of sight and off (not on vibrate, OFF) for the duration of the interview. Bring your smile, and don’t be afraid to be yourself during the interview. Find tips on the interviewing process here. Good luck on your job hunt!

Other helpful links:

https://usfcollegetocareer.com/2017/08/02/4-open-ended-interview-questions-and-what-employers-really-want-to-know/

https://usfcollegetocareer.com/2013/06/25/10-unconventional-tips-for-job-seekers/