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Inside Focal Point

How to Find Success at your Next Career Fair

August 25, 2017
   

IMG_0246.jpgEvery year, Focal Point’s dauntless recruiting team makes the trek across the U.S. to visit dozens of college and university campuses. Joined by members of our consulting teams, these trips are exciting opportunities to spend quality time with the newest minds in cyber security, accounting, data privacy, IT, and software engineering. This fall, we’re starting with the University of South Florida (Go Bulls!), making stops at universities like St. Joseph’s and University of Arizona, and ending at University of Tampa (you can see our full itinerary at the bottom of this post). 

But before we head off on our college tour, we want to give you a glimpse into why interns and recent graduates are so important to Focal Point’s success, and leave you with a few tips for success at campus career fairs.

Why do we love campus recruiting?

We want our employees to build their dream careers here. We seek out ways to help them grow their skillsets and explore new arenas. Managers and directors who have grown with us are some of our most valuable assets, because they hold our core values as their own, build strong relationships with our clients, and are dedicated to fostering a culture that helps others succeed. We believe that investing in college hires is the key to growing more of these employees within our organization.

IMG_0249.jpgOur favorite thing about recent grads and interns is their incredible drive to learn. The data risk industry is built on change – change in threats, change in regulations, and change in business.  With that much change, there’s an enormous amount to learn. So when we head to career fairs, we want to talk to students with a fire for learning.  We look for students who want to absorb everything they can, who are looking for mentors, and who want opportunities to get their hands dirty in the world of data risk.

Beyond a passion to learn, recent grads bring fresh perspectives, something we value greatly. We particularly enjoy their ideas for building a strong company culture and identifying opportunities for process improvements. In these two areas especially, having a new perspective is incredibly beneficial to us and something we really value in new hires.

Recent grads and interns also bring a high level of energy and excitement to the workplace, which we love! Seeing college hires’ enthusiasm for the work we do is a refreshing reminder of just how exciting this industry really is.


“I love getting to meet candidates face to face in their environment. They’re at home and feel more relaxed. I also really enjoy checking out the campuses. It’s so fun to see students in their element and so excited for their future.”

– Monica, National Recruiter


What does Focal Point’s ideal candidate look like?

Focal Point provides end-to-end risk management services to businesses across the country, so we’re looking for a wide variety of candidates. But when we travel to career fairs, we have a few positions in mind that are ideal for recent graduates and those looking for internships:

We’ve found these opportunities to be great starting points for college hires at Focal Point. They offer a clear career path, a mentorship program, and plenty of chances for growth.

But beyond specific job titles, we want our new hires to be good cultural fits. We’ve touched on a lot of these softer qualities in the section above, but we’re looking for candidates who are:

  • Strong communicators
  • Confident
  • Team players
  • Prepared to learn and ask questions
  • Professional and ready to work with clients
  • Good at managing their time
  • Willing to ask for help and learn from their mistakes

If this sounds like you, be sure to stop by our booth when we visit your school, or you can view all our opportunities now by heading to our Careers page.


“I enjoy talking with the soon-to-be graduates about our firm and helping them to see the great career options that we have to offer.”

– Sean Thompson, Director, Cyber Security


What tips do you have for career fairs?

We polled our recruiters on what they like to see from students at career fairs.  Here’s what they had to say:

  1. IMG_0410.jpgBring lots of resumes. We cannot emphasize this enough, which is why we made it our number one tip. Nothing is worse than running out of resumes at a job fair. And if you have leftovers, save them for all the interviews you’re about to set up!
  1. When it comes to resumes, focus on quality rather than design. While we appreciate a pretty resume, we’d rather get one that is well-written and error free. Spend your time focusing on grammar and strong content before you worry about a fancy template. Have a friend or professor review it for you before the career fair.
  1. Get detailed on your resume. We read a lot of resumes and are frequently surprised by the amount of key details students leave off their resumes. Don’t assume we know your graduation date or what cities you want to locate to after graduation.
  1. Have a game plan. Get your elevator pitch ready, pick out your top companies, and map out the location. But also always be open to talking to someone not on your list. You may be surprised by what they have to offer.
  1. Do your research. Once you have your top employers picked out, learn everything you can about them. Look at their career pages, review open positions, read their core values, and check them out on social media. Let recuiters know you’ve researched their company, and ask them questions about the things you’ve learned.
  1. Be ready to answer questions. Recruiters want to learn more about you at the career fair, so be ready. Think about the questions you’re likely to be asked, and prepare some answers ahead of time. If this is your first time interviewing for a full-time position, it may be a good idea to practice your answers with a friend or family member before the career fair.
  1. IMG_1577.jpgAsk about follow-up. Every company’s hiring process is different. Some may want you to connect with a recruiter, some may point you to their website, and others may schedule time to talk. Be proactive and ask about the best way to follow up so you don’t miss an opportunity.
  1. Dress for confidence. It’s important to look professional at a job fair, but being confident is key. One of the best ways to feel confident is to be comfortable in what you’re wearing. Wear sensible shoes, don’t feel like you always have to wear a suit, carry a small bag, etc. Dress in a way that makes you feel like you.
  1. Take the giveaway items. This year, we’re bringing fidget spinners (and more) to career fairs, and we’re so excited to share them with you guys. We want you to take the items we have on our table because it means you’ll have something to remember us by.
  1. Let your personality shine. We’re not just looking for students with particular skillsets or majors. We’re also looking for those that would fit well into our company culture. So let us see who you really are and start to build a relationship with you.
  1. Say thank you. If a recruiter gives you their business card, make sure to follow up with a short thank you email. It can go a long way, and it makes you stand out from the dozens of other students they met that day.

We are so excited to meet our next class of college hires this fall. We hope you’ll stop by our booth and introduce yourself so we can learn more about you and share more about life at Focal Point. See you soon!

Where We're Headed this Fall
School Dates Focal Point Team Members
USF Part-time Job Fair August 31, 2017 Stephanie Brooke-Boh
UF GatorTech Info Session September 5, 2017 Chris Thompson, and Adam Cotto
University of Tampa Fall 2017 Internship Fair September 6, 2017  Stephanie Brooke-Boh
St. Joseph's University Fall 2017 Career Fair September 14, 2017 Matt Gantner
University of South Florida Accounting & Financial Services Fair September 18, 2017 Stephanie Brooke-Boh
University of South Florida All Majors Fair September 19, 2017 Stephanie Brooke-Boh
University of Florida Career Showcase September 26-27, 2017 Stephanie Brooke-Boh & Derek Parks
Florida State University Career and Internship Fair October 3, 2017 Stephanie Brooke-Boh
University of Tampa All Majors Full Time Job Fair October 18, 2017 Monica Cook & Stephanie Brooke-Boh

 

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