Compose a Resume that Markets Your Background and Skills

Visit The Center for Career Development for a resume review.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

  • Attend a “Prepare for the Career Fair” workshop
  • Determine your objectives for attending
  • Review the companies attending the fair and position descriptions on Go IRISH
  • Visit company websites to review mission statements, annual reports, and products or services
  • Develop and refine networking skills
  • Develop your “30 Second Message”

Developing Your 30 Second Message

A good 30 second message includes:

  1. Relevant background information: education and experience
  2. Summary of your career interests and skills
  3. A question or request for assistance

The Foundation

  • Hello, I’m…(name, year, and any connection to organization/industry/position)
  • Articulate interest in industry/career field.  Here are a few suggestions:
    • I have experience with…(explain something from a relevant experience, class, etc.)
    • Your company is…(demonstrate knowledge of company)
    • I’m interested in X because…(explain your interest in company/industry)
  • I can…(match your skills with their needs)
  • End with an engaging question

Questions to Ask

  1. Could you tell me more about the client responsibilities of the Business Analyst position?
  2. What are some of the campus and internship experiences that help candidates compete successfully for this position?
  3. What is your position with the organization/company?
  • What have you enjoyed most about your position?
  • What have you found most challenging about your position?
  1. What career paths are open to people who have succeeded in this position, and what’s a typical time frame for advancing to a different opportunity?
  2. Could you describe your training program for new associates?
  3. What do you think are some of the most important skills and experiences undergraduates need to enter this career field?
  4. Ask about an issue or current event that may be impacting the company (from your careful research)

Sample 30 Second Messages

Career Fair Specific:

Hi, my name is…I am a junior majoring in English and Business Economics.  I specifically enjoy studying Victorian literature, doing close readings of text to determine underlying meanings, and crafting arguments supported by those readings.  My Business Economics minor allows me to explore the more quantitative and structured part of my nature through the study of statistics, finance, and economic analysis.  Together these allow me to combine big picture, creative thinking with analytical abilities.  Because of this I think I would have a lot to offer a marketing organization like yours.  Can you tell me about the work you do at…and what qualities you look for in your intern and entry-level candidates?

General Networking:

Hello, I’m…and I will receive my degree from Notre Dame this May where I have been majoring in Political Science with a focus on voting trends of various constituencies.  I was able to apply that information through an internship this past year with the New Jersey Democratic Party.  The internship allowed me to research key issues in various counties for the upcoming elections.  I would like to use this experience by working on a larger campaign for a senator or congressperson.  In order to break into this field, I have been conducting informational interviews and speaking to anyone who has knowledge of working for a campaign.  Could you recommend anyone that I may speak with in order to gain a better understanding of the process of being hired onto a campaign?

Final Tips

  • Know yourself and your audience
  • You are telling your story – you are not a salesperson
  • Control your message so that nothing is left up to interpretation
  • Be enthusiastic

At the Fair

  • Dress in business attire and bring several copies of your resume
  • Be proactive by approaching employers
  • Speak with both young alumni and experienced representatives
  • Demonstrate confidence and enthusiasm in delivering your “30 Second Message”
  • Unless the employer asks you for your resume at the beginning of your conversation, offer it to him/her at the end (“May I leave a copy of my resume with you?”) – this is a nice way to begin to close the conversation
  • When the conversation seems to be ebbing, reiterate your interest in the company/industry and begin to disengage (i.e., “I’ve really enjoyed speaking with you and would like to leave a copy of my resume with you if I may”); another way to disengage from conversation would be to acknowledge the line of students waiting to speak with the representative (if present) and indicate you do not wish to monopolize his/her time  
  • If they are interviewing the next day, ask the representative how to sign up for an interview (i.e. “After reviewing your company information and the position, I am interested in speaking with you further. How can I obtain a slot on your interview schedule tomorrow at The Center for Career Development?”)
  • Obtain the representative’s business card to continue to develop the connection via email (“May I have one of your business cards and follow up with you if I have any questions about this opportunity/your organization?”)

Following the Fair

  • Send an email thank-you note to the recruiters with companies of interest within three days of the fair.
  • If you obtain an interview:
    • Prepare by researching the company, industry, competitors, and the position description on Go IRISH or at the Mahaffey Business Library
    • Review The Center for Career Development’s Interview Guide and practice sample interview questions

Utilize Go IRISH to Find Out More About the Companies, Industries, and Positions

To view all companies attending a career fair:

  1. Login to Go IRISH
  2. Click on “Events” tab
  3. Click on the name of the fair to view participating employers and general posting information

To view job postings: 

  1. Login to Go IRISH
  2. Click on “Jobs/Internships” and select Go IRISH Jobs
  3. Perform a keyword search for the fair using the tips on the Jobs/Internships Search page

Conduct Additional Company and Industry Research utilizing The Center for Career Development's Online Resources.