Have you heard that Career Showcase will be on January 24th and 25th 2017? That’s right, we are only six weeks away from our biggest career event, which will be back in its original location: The Stephen C. O’Connell Center. For those worried that they aren’t prepared to come face-to-face with employers, don’t sweat it; you have plenty of time to start preparing but the earlier the better. Many students don’t know where to start and luckily for you, we’ve gathered the five most important tips to help you get prepared.

1) Your Resume is EVERYTHING

via GIPHY

Creating or editing a resume can be tedious; don’t wait until the weekend before Showcase to start. Take advantage of the winter break and edit your resume as much as possible. Once the spring 2017 semester begins, come into the Career Resource Center and have a career ambassador look over your resume to perfect it before Showcase.

2) Elevator Speech: Practice Makes Perfect

via GIPHY

Knowing how you’re going to pitch yourself to employers is vital. You can’t go up to them expecting to just spark conversation and interest. Reality is, employers see hundreds of students during Showcase and your elevator speech is what’s going to determine whether you stand out amongst the many. Writing down your elevator speech and practicing two to three times is not enough. Rehearse until you get it down perfectly, if saying it in front of a mirror feels awkward, then recruit one of your family members to act as employer.

3) Research Employers

via GIPHY

With hundreds of employers attending every year, Career Showcase can leave many students feeling overwhelmed. Avoid this feeling by researching which employers will be attending Showcase and making a list of the ones you would like to talk to. Before career showcase, you should take this list and further research the companies to grasp their identity and what they stand for. Knowing this can help you prepare your elevator speech to include skills that the company is specifically looking for. To find a list of employers attending the 2017 spring Showcase, visit Gator CareerLink.

4) We’re Hiring: But for What?

via GIPHY

Along with researching the company itself, you should also look into the type of positions that are available. This will further narrow down the list of employers you should talk to. It important to note that if you feel strongly about working for a specific company, then we fully encourage that you talk to them anyway. Just because they don’t have the specific position you are looking for currently available, it doesn’t mean they can’t make one for the right candidate. Researching the positions available will assist both you and employers when it comes to making decisions.

5) Dress to Impress

via GIPHY

Dress accordingly! Rompers, khaki shorts, and sneakers are not okay. This is a business formal event and it’s imperative to dress the part. If you don’t know the difference between business casual and business formal then click here. For those of you who don’t own a suit, make sure to stop by the Gator Career Closet and rent out everything you need from dress pants to accessories with your Gator One ID.

We look forward to seeing you back in the O’Connell Center for the 2017 Spring Career Showcase! If you feel like you need additional help, make an appointment via Gator CareerLink to talk to one of our Career Advisors. Or, you can always drop in Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to have your resume reviewed by a Career Ambassador.