Let's be clear, the resume is still the standard document to prepare for a career fair. However, we’re now in a society that is visual and project based. Recruiters are human too, they sometimes need visuals to help grasp a concept, and they appreciate subtle creativity. Assuming that you have the basics covered like business attire and resume formatting, here are three things you can prepare to differentiate yourself and land you the job of your dreams.
Have a Portfolio
When I recruited, I would pick one thing on a resume and ask the student to talk more about it. I wanted to make sure they knew how to use the S.T.A.R. method of explanation. STAR is situation, task, action, and response, and is widely referred to as a best practice when recruiting. While verbal communication is vital, having a picture or two to help explain are great ways to reinforce the importance or scale of your project. The visual also helps when talking to recruiters that might not have the same engineering background that you do.
Have a Video
Remember the guy who made a viral video to land an internship with Gary V? A rap probably isn't the best move for an engineering company unless you're applying to Snapchat. What you can do is create a video of your best accomplishment. This isn’t a 5-minute video that the recruiter has to pay close attention to. Instead, it’s a quick summary video (30 seconds at most) that helps to show a project you’ve done. A perfect summary video is one that you can quickly pull up on your phone and explain 2 key points. Keep it short, it’s supposed to be a teaser that gets the recruiter to say wow and ask more questions.
Have a Testimonial
Have a teacher that loves your work or a previous internship evaluation? It might just come in handy during the career fair. Have you ever had a great dialogue with a recruiter but you know they're on the fence or there might not be any interview slots left? That's the perfect time to use a testimonial. Again, recruiters are human. They want talent that has already been vetted.
Having these three things in a consolidated package will showcase the hard work you put into projects. It will also prove soft skills like the ability to present and the knowledge of when to use visuals to support your talking points. You still want to start with a conversation and a resume, but then you can use these new tools to differentiate yourself.
Check out how HAK Electronics builds a portfolio here. Also, if you need design ideas, follow us on social media to see what we're building.