Attention Gators and Lady Gators, today is the day we’ve all been waiting for…or dreading. The Career Showcase is today, and while you may think you’re prepared there are still a million ways you can screw it up, but we could only come up with eight:
8.) Not making eye contact:
Look, it’s hard to maintain eye contact as you fly through your spiel. We get it. However, this employer representative is going to see a lot of suited, wide-eyed, college students giving their elevator pitches today; if you don’t lock eyes with them you’re going to come across as narcissistic or antisocial. Feel free to take your chances with both options but neither screams, “hire me!”
7.) Speaking of elevator pitch:
Have an elevator pitch. You were just going to go up to that recruiter and shoot from the hip; you think it will be more genuine than reciting your memorized pitch—and you’d be right. Unfortunately, you’ll stumble at some point and freeze when asked about qualifications. Leave the gun-slingin’ to the cowboys, Tex. Know your elevator pitch, just don’t recite it line for line. After all, the 11th Commandment was, “Love thy elevator pitch.” No, really, that’s the first thing you learn in holy business law.
6.) Not sending a thank you email/text/note/career pigeon:
If someone takes an interest in you and leaves you a card, offers to connect you to someone within their company or sets up an interview with you, you owe them gratitude. Send a candy-gram, send a career pigeon (looking at you, Mike Tyson), learn smoke signals; whatever you can do to thank this representative must happen.
5.) Thinking you’re above the representative:
You may be hot stuff—we think so and your mom does too—but the employer representative isn’t going to be receptive to your pitch if you swagger on up and lay the ego on thick. Dial it down, find you inner Buddhist monk and be modest. Remember these people see hundreds of students over the course of hours—the margin for error to be noticed and remembered is slim. Don’t be a walking eye-roll triggered by exuding self-importance.
4.) Not doing your research:
You can’t know everything about every employer. You’re not the NSA. That’s an unreasonable expectation. You do need to know about the companies that you’re most interested in, because going up to a recruiter, telling them you’re interested in a position and then asking what their company does just makes you look ignorant. Unless you’re trying to lock down that clown internship, you don’t want to be seen as silly.
3.) Lying on your resume:
Everyone lies on his or her resume at some point. It’s a product of a vicious cycle where you need experience to get the position that you subsequently put on your resume as your experience. Don’t sweat the small stuff; we know you’re in a competitive, experience-needed system. Someone will take this too far. “Professional Football Playing Space King” is sure to make your resume stand out… though maybe not in the way you were hoping. Remember, “keep it small if at all” as your resume-lying mantra.
2.) Dressing all wrong:
A lot of Career Showcase is presenting yourself in a manner where you look presentable and competent while making a positive impression. To that end, dress so that you stand out, to an extent! That pink undershirt and lavender tie looks fire, and you will definitely stand out in sharp contrast to your peers. Spice it up; tie clips are classy, rock that lipstick, ties and socks can be colorful and unique.
1.) Not printing enough resumes:
Remember how disappointed you were when instead of Halloween candy you got an apple, and a mini-toothbrush? That’s how the recruiter is going to feel if you make a convincing pitch, they feel connected to you and you reach into your portfolio only grasp air instead of a resume. Print a literal truckload—be the Oprah of resumes. You get a resume, and you get a resume, everyone gets a resume!
Try your best to avoid these snafus and you may just find yourself swimming in job offers this year.