Attending a Career Fair in the United States? You Need to Read This!


Sounds easy, right? Well it can be if you approach the career fair prepared and confidently. Being prepared will bring you confidence….
Step 1.  Have some business cards or ‘calling cards’ printed. No need to create anything fancy, but they should be professional.  Visit Staples or an online business card company. Make sure to include your name, academic degree status/area of study, address, phone number, email address and LinkedIn contact information. You shouldn’t have a company name on it – if you are still a student, it is fine to include the college or university you are attending. (Take a look at Sample Business Cards
Step 2.  Create a professional résumé. Make sure at least two people have reviewed it for errors – grammar and organizational. If possible, have a career counselor look at it. Print out several copies to hand out to prospective employers.  (Take a look at Purdue OWL’s Résumé Workshop)
Step 3.  Check out the layout of the fair and where each company you are interested in will be stationed. This will allow you to make the most of your time as you won’t be wandering around looking for the companies you want to approach.
Step 4. Research the companies – who they are, what positions they have open, what their culture is, and what they do. Don’t meet the representative from a company without knowing some information about them. This will allow you to ask questions that are not topical in nature, but deeper and more probing. Prepare questions. Don’t be caught off guard!
  • When you meet the representative – shake their hand, look at them in the eyes and smile.  Nonverbal communication is as important as what you will say.
  • Create a credibility statement. What’s this you ask?
Create a pitch about yourself that provides an employer with three skills you have that they would deem desirable.  Don’t share them unless asked and relevant. Remember, they have your résumé, so when they meet you, they want to hear narratives that support what they can read about you.
When you choose these skills to describe what you can do, create a narrative that describes when you used them.
For example: “I am a great leader, I take initiative when I work in groups to organize and keep everyone on task. This past semester I worked with a group of four peers to create a blog for a project. When we first met, I asked everyone to express what skills they had to help create the blog. After that, I created a timeline for us to follow to make sure we would be ready to launch the blog by the deadline. I then created a Google document so we could all share our work. Although we all worked as a team, I took the lead in making sure we worked efficiently. The blog was a success – it was a great learning experience for all of us. *”If you’d like to see the blog, I ‘d be happy to email you the link.”
*Follow up with an action step if it seems appropriate.
Step 6.  Craft your pitch carefully and make sure it responds to what is being asked.  Listen carefully.  Don’t be too aggressive, but exude confidence and professionalism. Usually one of the skill narratives you have prepared will be suitable as a response – but make sure you choose the correct one at the right time.
Step 7.  Shake their hand, look at them directly in the eyes and smile. Leave with a promise to stay in touch and follow up. Give them a copy of your résumé and your business card. Email them or write them a hand written note stating how nice it was to meet them.
Good Luck!
P.S. Although the steps described above are used in the U. S., most can be used when greeting a representative from a global company as well. Take into consideration the culture and language of the company representatives.

American Idioms

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Have you every watched an American film or television show with a group of Americans who laughed out loud at something that was just said...but you had no idea what was so funny?

It was most likely because an idiom was used that you had no idea how to translate. Translation just doesn't work for idioms because they don't mean what the words are - but what the group of words mean to locals. Every language has them - but you already know that!

Example of sentences filled with idioms - see the list below to find out what the idioms used here mean:
You may be thinking that idioms are all greek to you and continue to be a doubting Thomas ...saying to yourself, "I can't possibly learn them all." That may be true - but learning a few to begin with is a piece of cake. If you find it difficult, many are in the same boat.  At the end of the list of idioms below are more sentences that combine additional idioms.  See if you can understand them!

I won't beat around the bush, (yes this is an idiom meaning, get right to the point) understanding and using American idioms isn't easy for people who speak English as a second language! You will be amazed at how many are really quite similar in many languages.

Just like any language, idioms or slang expressions, are used all the time by fluent speakers of a language. An idiom is defined by as:


  [id-ee-uhm]  Show IPA
an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket  or hang one's head,  or from the general grammatical rules of a language,as the table round  for the round table,  and that is not a constituent of a larger expression of likecharacteristics.
a language, dialect, or style of speaking peculiar to a people.
a construction or expression of one language whose parts correspond to elements in another language but whose total structure or meaning is not matched in the same way in the second language.

Now that you know what an idiom is time to learn some. 

I can't possibly list them all - there are literally hundreds. So with the help of this great website, I will expose you to a few....take a look at all of them and you will be 'in the know'!

From the website - here is a short list of idioms that begin with the letters 'A' and 'B'...

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush: 
Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because chances are you might lose everything.

A Blessing In Disguise: 
Something good that isn't recognized at first.

A Chip On Your Shoulder: 
Being upset for something that happened in the past.

A Dime A Dozen: 
Anything that is common and easy to get.

A Doubting Thomas: 
A skeptic who needs physical or personal evidence in order to believe something.

A Drop in the Bucket: 
A very small part of something big or whole.

A Fool And His Money Are Easily Parted: 
It's easy for a foolish person to lose his/her money.

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand: 
Everyone involved must unify and function together or it will not work out.

A Leopard Can't Change His Spots: 
You cannot change who you are.

A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned: 
By not spending money, you are saving money (little by little).

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words: 
A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.

A Piece of Cake: 
A task that can be accomplished very easily.

A Slap on the Wrist: 
A very mild punishment.

A Taste Of Your Own Medicine: 
When you are mistreated the same way you mistreat others.

A Toss-Up: 
A result that is still unclear and can go either way.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: 
It's better to actually do something than just talk about it.

Add Fuel To The Fire: 
Whenever something is done to make a bad situation even worse than it is.

Against The Clock: 
Rushed and short on time.

All Bark And No Bite: 
When someone is threatening and/or aggressive but not willing to engage in a fight.

All Greek to me:
Meaning less and incomprehensible like someone who cannot read, speak, or understand any of the Greek language would be.

All In The Same Boat: 
When everyone is facing the same challenges.

An Arm And A Leg: 
Very expensive. A large amount of money.

An Axe To Grind: 
To have a dispute with someone.

Apple of My Eye: 
Someone who is cherished above all others.

                                                      As High As A Kite: 
                                                     Anything that is high up in the sky.

                                                         At The Drop Of A Hat: 
                                                         Willing to do something immediately.


Back Seat Driver: 
People who criticize from the sidelines, much like someone giving unwanted advice from the back seat of a vehicle to the driver.

Back To Square One: 
Having to start all over again.

Back To The Drawing Board: 
When an attempt fails and it's time to start all over.

Baker's Dozen: 

Barking Up The Wrong Tree: 
A mistake made in something you are trying to achieve.

Beat A Dead Horse: 
To force an issue that has already ended.

Beating Around The Bush: 
Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.

Bend Over Backwards: 
Do whatever it takes to help. Willing to do anything.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place: 
Stuck between two very bad options.

Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: 
To take on a task that is way to big.

Bite Your Tongue: 
To avoid talking.

Blood Is Thicker Than Water: 
The family bond is closer than anything else.

Blue Moon: 
A rare event or occurance. 

Break A Leg: 
A superstitious way to say 'good luck' without saying 'good luck', but rather the opposite.

Buy A Lemon: 

To purchase a vehicle that constantly gives problems or stops running after you drive it away.

The next step is to listen for them being used and then use them yourself. Compose a few sentences using them - for example - just using the idioms above that begin with 'A' and 'B',  I composed these sentences:

1. Actions speak louder than words, so bite your tongue and stop adding fuel to the fire. 

2. I bought off more than I could chew so I went back to the drawing board and went back to square one.

3. Once in a blue moon I find myself between a rock and a hard place. 

4. We are all in the same boat, when we buy a new car, we don't want a lemon but a car that works like it is supposed to.

5. I will bend over backwards for my good friends because they are the apple of my eye. I might even pick up a baker's dozen of muffins to bring to them.

I could go on and on...but I will let you play with these..break a leg while you do!