Thursday, April 13, 2006

Job Fair Insights: From the mouth of a recruiter

Put yourself in this person’s place. You’re a recruiter for a coveted school district knowing that it will take the person at the end of the line 90 minutes to reach first place. By the end of the day, you will have collected 400 resumes for two open positions. How do you possibly sort through the crowd?

Well, a lunch time conversation did much to demystify the process. According to one recruiter, candidates are rated on three criteria.

Criteria #1: Appearance
Like it or not, people judge by appearances so the first three seconds count. No dark suit? You’re out. Flip flops? You’re out. And those are the obvious visual cues.
But, how about this one. What’s fashionable might not be appropriate.
Specifically, those sweet little tank tops worn under suits. Girls, have you thought about testing those things in real life situations? Like, what happens when you bend over to register for the job fair? Or what really shows when you’re moving around? Too much? To quote the recruiter, “We have dress codes at school about what students can wear. Those dress codes apply to our teachers as well.” 

Criteria #2: Affect
Affect, defined as an emotion or mood associated with an idea or action, or the external expression of such a feeling. The recruiter was describing that outward expression of successful teachers—enthusiastic, positive, energetic. Qualities best coveyed through eye contact and a smile. Again, from the recruiter, “One candidate had all the right answers but could not look me in the eye. He kept looking at everything and everyone—except me.”

Criteria #3: Content
This goes without saying. Regardless of your job target, employers expect college grads to be knowledgeable of and articulate in their major concentration. So know the buzz words and be prepared to utilize them.

And to conclude with my own personal job fair suggestion, take a trip to the nearest one well before you are a senior. Familiarity will contribute to comfort level when it really counts.

Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 04/13 at 12:59 PM
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