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Prep Work is Your Golden Ticket to the Career Expo

Updated: 23 hours ago

Hundreds of Lehigh students attend the Career Expo each semester. How can you compete? The best way to stand out from the crowd will be the work you do before you connect with an employer.




Practice your pitch

As you approach each employer, be ready to introduce and sell yourself. Lead with a handshake (if in person) and a confident hello and smile, make eye contact (know where you camera is if a virtual event), and avoid a robotic, memorized speech. Organize your thoughts and practice the content before the event so you can use the information to start a conversation.


30 second commercial content:

  • Your name, major, class year, and graduation date

  • Express your interest in a position / career path

  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the company/organization

  • Highlight your related experience / show how your major applies to the position

  • Give an example of an accomplishment or skill

  • Ask a prepared question

Example:

Hello, nice to meet you. I am Adrian Suarez, a sophomore majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Theatre. My interests are in entrepreneurship, social impact, reading anything and everything, problem solving with people of different strengths, communicating with people from all over the world, travelling and poetry. I'm active on campus as the national honors society President, a Gryphon, Lamberton Hall Staff, and an e-board member for the Multi-Faith Initiative & the Global Union. Recently, I have become fascinated by consulting and my research about career options in this area led me to learn more about your organization. I plan to apply to your consulting internship in Philadelphia for summer 2024 and wanted to get more information about the types of clients your interns serve. Could you describe some of the work your interns did last year?


Sample Questions to include in your pitch:

  • Tell me a little about the training process new hires complete?

  • What type of projects do new hires/interns work on?

  • What are some of the skills you look for in candidates?

  • What type of experience is necessary to work in this role?

  • What type of long term career is possible with your company?

  • What is the culture of your office/location like?

  • Could you describe the leadership in your organization?

  • Do you expect to visit campus again this year?

  • What is your hiring timeline?


Prepare an Employer Research Cheat Sheet

Handshake makes it easy to find details about the employers and recruiters who are attending. Review the employer list on the main Expo page for that semester. Review employers attending and identify employers of interest and begin you research. This information will be critical in helping you make a plan! Use the filters to identify the employers who hire you major, work in the industry of your choice or who have positions of interest. Collect the details for each company individually so you can customize your pitch and ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate your research. Bring your notes with you to the event and consult them before approaching each target company.


❌No: What does your company do?

❌No: Do you hire my major?

❌No: Do you have any internships open?


✔Yes: I learned that your company recently has a new branch open in New York. I would love to be considered for a position at that location.

✔Yes: As an engineering student, I am interested in applying to the full-time position you have posted on Handshake and wondered if I could ask you a couple questions about the projects new hires work on?

✔Yes: In reading about some of the work you do, it’s clear my graphic design skills would be a great fit. Can I share a digital portfolio with you so you can see some of my work?


Perfect Your Resume

In most cases, you will hand the recruiter a copy of your resume. This means your document needs to be error free, well formatted, and catered to the industry of interest. To learn more about resumes, review the Resume Resource page on Handshake where you can find helpful quick guides, articles and other tools designed to help you build a resume that is unique for your experiences, education and career goals. Use this information to create your own draft or update your document.


After you have a resume draft complete your next stop is to visit Career Lab (Mon-Fri, 11 am - 4 pm) to have it reviewed by Career Center staff. This is a working session where you are encouraged to make edits right on your laptop while you are in the Career Center. Come for a few minutes or plan to stay for a while! We want to give you feedback and allow you time to make improvements so you can leave with a Career Expo ready resume!


Professional Attire

Professional interview attire is required at the Career Expo. Whether the event is in person or virtual. This means a suit is expected and professional attire will likely be used again in future interviews. Check out the Professional Dress Guides in our Interview Guide for more information. Our Interview Resource Tile on Handshake can also be super helpful.


Plan Ahead

  1. Start your prep early in the semester

  2. Allot time for career prep into your weekly schedule

  3. Research employers and open positions well in advance

  4. Have you resume, Handshake profile, & LinkedIn profile updated

  5. Have your professional attire ready - cleaned, pressed, altered

  6. If a virtual event, prep your environment & lighting, test your technology

  7. Consider LinkedIn, Lehigh Connects as other networking opportunities

  8. First comes job applications, then comes interviews. Be ready for employer follow up requests after you submit a resume for a job or internship. Check your email & Handshake inbox regularly.

Article updated by Patty Reina 1/2023

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