Be sure to send a follow-up letter

By Talesha Herbert

A good first impression may open the door, but even better preparation will land the job.

Mireya Pourchot, coordinator of the internship fair and Promotion/Publicity Specialist for Co-op, urged students to prepare for the fair.

“First impressions are important 90 percent of the time,” said Pourchot, adding that a recruiter will begin judging a student within the first 10 or 15 seconds of conversation.

Pourchot also said students should research companies of interest before attending the fair. She said students should learn to verbalize résumés by reviewing them, take brief notes in a quiet place after speaking to a recruiter and ask for business cards.

“Try to do things that will make you stand out,” Pourchot said. “Do your homework and know what your career goals are.”

Pourchot advises students to dress professionally, to sound intelligent and to look confident.

“Recruiters are looking at the whole package,” she said.

Some students who give good first impressions and show assertiveness may be invited to a formal interview the same day.

Other students showing assertiveness and good preparation skills may be asked to meet with a recruiter the following day at the Campus Life Building.

Students also should make sure that contact information on their résumés is current.

If a student isn’t home when a company calls, message taking should be talked about with roommates.

“Make sure your roommate is aware that a recruiter is calling,” Pourchot said. “Tell them to answer properly and take a message.”

Students also should be aware that persistency is good in some cases.

“If it didn’t look promising, you don’t want to be annoying,” Pourchot added.

A sign of a promising internship may be a business card for further contact by phone or e-mail.

According to the internship career fair guide, it is a good idea to write follow-up letters to recruiters who you met.

The letter should include a reminder of the meeting at the fair, your qualifications and interest in the position discussed.

Students also are urged to contact Co-op if given a job.

Casey Bozek, assistant director of Co-op, said students should not be afraid to approach recruiters.

“You only have one chance to make a first impression,” he said.

“Be assertive,” he added. “Call promptly or recruiters may assume you are not interested.”