Graduate School Job Fairs: Exploration and Recipes Towards Success

By Erick Ojeda, MPH’23 in Environmental Health

Moving forward toward the workforce can be challenging even after graduating from a graduate degree program. Grad School Fairs are offered every semester during your time at Rollins and are available for first and second years. Here are some tips on how to communicate with potential employers and get you one step towards landing your dream job!

Use your School’s Career Services
Most schools have an in-house career services center that serves to help students through the job application and recruitment process. Be sure to make appointments and drop-in to see career coaches who can help tighten any cover letters, resumes, CV’s, or other written documents you may have to submit. Most centers also offer different appointments, such as coaching sessions, case interview prep/mock interview, or job search tips whether your job has to do with your Applied Practicum Experience or for post-graduate students entering the workforce.

Crafting a Strong Application
Every cover letter should be unique for each employer that you writing to. Adding in personal touches show the commitment that you have for the organization and the additional steps you have taken to put your best foot forward.

A resume/CV is typically limited to 1-2 pages (be sure to check beforehand!) and should contain the following sections:
– Education
– Awards/Honors
– Publications/Presentations (recommended if you attended and presented your research in a national or international conference)
– Work Experience
– Leadership and Volunteer Experience
– Professional Affiliations
– Additional skillsets (e.g., SAS, R, Python, CPR, FEMA, CITI, etc.)

Come Prepared
It is important to come prepared to career fairs to show potential employers and recruiters how serious you are about their organization. Be sure to do the following things during an in-person fair or on hand ready to send for a virtual fair
– Bring multiple copies of your up-to-date resume
– Look up who will be at the fair and do research on specific organizations of interest
– Come up with a list of questions you want to ask potential employers so that way you can get a better understanding on what they are trying to offer
– Prepare a 30 second “elevator pitch” about yourself to potential employers and explain to them what your interests are and future goals after completing your degree program of choice and what you are planning on using that degree for
– Dress professionally

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