Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Prepare for Meet the Accountant Night

Are you ready for Meet the Accountant Night? On Thursday, September 11th, from 5:30-7 pm, 17 organizations will be in the Dauch College of Business and Economics looking to meet Ashland University students interested in internships and employment opportunities.

If you are planning to attend, there are a few things you should prepare beforehand, and keep in mind during the event:

Before the Event

Develop a 30-second introduction.

To start a conversation with an employer, you will first need to introduce yourself. Please review our previous blog post on How to Introduce Yourself at a Career Fair for more information on preparing and practicing a nice summary for the event.

Research the organizations.

The list of attending organizations is posted on the Career Services website. Before the event, it would be a good idea to visit the webpage of the organizations you are interested in, so you can learn more about the company or organization and about accounting opportunities with their company. You could also research the organizations by searching for them in Glassdoor.

Prepare your resume.

Before the event, have your resume reviewed in Career Services. Resume reviews are available on a walk-in basis from noon to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. You should also print your resume on high-quality bonded resume paper. Resume paper is available in the Career Services Center for just 5 cents a sheet, or at stores including the Ashland University Bookstore, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Staples, and probably most big-box stores, like Target, Meijer, or Wal-Mart.

Prepare your outfit.

You will also want to make sure you look the part before the fair. We ask that all attendees at Meet the Accountant Night dress at least business casual, but candidates who are actively seeking jobs and internship opportunities in the near term are encouraged to dress in suits. Please review our attire pamphlet to learn more about what is considered "business casual".

During Meet the Accountant Night

Possess a Positive Attitude

A positive and professional attitude is imperative during the entire event. Practice these actions:
  • Greet everyone you meet with a smile and firm handshake.
  • Use positive words to express your interests when answering questions.
  • Do NOT talk negatively about former supervisors, co-workers, jobs or organizations.
  • Smile and show enthusiasm throughout your entire discussion.

Create a Strong First Impression

The first impression you make while networking is critical. You need to display confidence, professionalism and poise. An employer will remember if the first impression you made was a positive one. Keep the following items in mind to create a positive impression during the first ten seconds of the discussion:
  • Smile and greet each person with a firm handshake.
  • Make appropriate eye contact.
  • Use appropriate grammar.
  • Do NOT chew gum.
  • Be sincerely interested in what the interviewer is saying and respond with questions or comments related to information he/she provided.
  • Show enthusiasm and interest in the organization.
  • Be respectful of everyone you meet and appreciative of the time spent speaking with you.

Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Skills

Verbal Communication: When answering questions, be sure to use examples whenever possible.  By using examples, employers will know what experiences you have had in the past and what skills you could bring to their organization.  Examples can be taken from the classroom, leadership, work, community service and life experience.

Ask employers for their business cards.  After you leave the table, turn the business card over and make notes about your conversation.  Do not do this in front of the employers; take a few steps away. 

Be sure to use proper grammar at all times while networking. Avoid slang and fillers such as “like”, “um”, “cool”, “awesome”, “yeah” or “you know”. It is appropriate to take a moment to think about and formulate your answer once a question has been asked.

Nonverbal Communication: Be sure your nonverbal communication is appropriate during the event. Stand tall, smile and deliver a firm handshake. Maintain eye contact with the employer and do not look around the room when having a conversation.  Do not take notes or fidget while talking.  It may become distracting to the employer.

Employers expect participants to be a little nervous, but you can still be an effective communicator. By practicing your 30 Second Pitch aloud, your conversations will flow much easier with employers. 

Let us know how we can help!

If you have any questions before Meet the Accountant Night, please contact the Career Services Center, or stop in for our walk-in hours, noon - 5 pm.

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