EmployUP Week: 8 details and tips for this week’s event!

EmployUP headerEmployUP takes place this Thursday! Over 50 companies are attending, recruiting candidates for full-time jobs!

Here are 8 last-minute details and tips to be aware of as you prepare for this fantastic hiring opportunity.

1. EmployUP takes place Thursday, March 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Grady Cole Center, adjacent to the CPCC Central campus. Please see the parking map for location and parking information.

2. CPCC students and all veterans can show their student and/or military ID to use the VIP entrance and avoid long lines!

3. Professional dress is required for admission. Check the Career Services Pinterest Boards for information and sample photos that show what professional dress means.

4. Research companies attending. The list of participating companies provides information about each organization that will be on site, including the A.A.S. degrees they are seeking.

5. Bring copies of your polished resume. You’ll be giving them to company recruiters. Follow resume guidelines provided in the Career Guide. Review your resume for typos.

6. Practice your elevator speech. This is the introduction you’ll give to employers when you approach their tables. What you say and how confident you look when you say it is important!

7. Check out previous Career Services blog posts for detailed tips about what to wear, how to research companies and how to get your resume EmployUP ready.

8. Review the EmployUP Student Information Page that contains tons of tips and links to help you make this event successful for you. A great place to start is the EmployUP Tips Video.

EmployUP is going to be a great event! People are going to be called for job interviews and potentially receive job offers because of this career fair. Why shouldn’t it be you?

What to wear to EmployUP (and other tips about professional appearance)

When you attend next Thursday’s EmployUP, making a positive impression with company recruiters is key to being invited for a job interview. Your visual appearance and how you interact with employers should complement the standout resume you present them.

Your visual impact has two elements: Appearance and your mannerisms. Use the following checklist to help make sure both get the employers’ attention for the right reasons.

Professional Wardrobe

Professional dress is required for admission to EmployUP. This guideline is for your benefit: Recruiters look favorably on candidates dressed in professional attire.


  • Business suits
  • Khakis or dress slacks
  • Collared or button-down shirts
  • Professional dresses and skirts
  • Navy, black or dark grey colors work best
  • Neutral or matching panty hose
  • Closed-toe shoes (no sandals!)
  • Minimal jewelry (avoid long dangly earrings, bangle bracelets and excessive necklaces)
  • Groomed hairstyle
  • Light makeup and perfume
  • Neatly manicured, clean nails

Low-cut shirts, short skirts and tight fitting clothes make an impression, but not the right one.


  • Suit (solid color, preferably navy, black or dark grey)
  • Long-sleeve shirt (white or color that coordinates with the suit)
  • Belt and matching tie
  • Dark socks and matching conservative shoes
  • Little or no jewelry
  • Neat professional hairstyle
  • Limit aftershave and cologne

Make sure your suit is properly fitted.

Other appearance errors to avoid

  • Wrinkled clothes. The night before or morning of the interview, iron your clothes.
  • Bad breath. Bring breath mints instead of gum.
  • A loud cell phone ring.  Turn off your cell phone or set it to vibrate.
  • Exposed body parts. Avoid mid-drift tops or muscle shirts.
  • Tattoos. If your arms are covered with art, cover them.
  • Food in your teeth. Check a mirror to make sure your smile won’t be distracting.
  • Piercings in other places besides ear lobes. Remove facial and tongue rings.
  • Unique hair color or nail polish. Stick to traditional conservative colors.
  • A backpack. Carry your resumes in a binder or folder.

The Career Services Professional Dress Pinterest boards provide great examples of professional dress, as does the EmployUP tips video. Check both of them out!


From the moment you shake the employer’s hand you’re being evaluated. Use these tips about nonverbal behavior and you’ll be fine.

  • Offer a firm handshake (but don’t crush the recruiter’s fingers).
  • Maintain eye contact when speaking and listening.
  • Smile and show an engaged facial expression. Otherwise the recruiter might think you’re bored.
  • Avoid excessive hand gestures and twirling your hair.
  • Don’t carry a pen or other item if you’re inclined to play with it while talking to the recruiter (clicking pen, twirling it between fingers, etc.).
  • Don’t take calls from your cell phone (or even look at it) during your conversation.





Talking to EmployUP recruiters doesn’t have to be difficult

Employers attending EmployUP on March 3 at the Grady Cole Center will talk to job candidates who approach their booth. But they’re more likely to offer interviews to candidates who know how to interact and what to say.

So how do you talk to employers at career fairs?

  1. Wait your turn. If there is a line of people waiting to talk to the recruiter, be kind and wait in line. You would appreciate the same courtesy.
  2. Greet the employer with a firm handshake and a smile. This makes an impression before you say a word.
  3. Introduce yourself. “Hi my name is_______.” Don’t wait for the employers to introduce themselves – show enthusiasm and get the conversation started.
  4. Have an elevator speech prepared. What you say about yourself makes or breaks your chances of landing an interview. Practice ahead of time talking about your skills, academic background and interest in the company. The Elevator Speech info page in the Career Services Career Guide can help you write this short introductory speech ahead of time. What’s most important is practicing before the event.
  5. Ask appropriate questions. Employers like candidates who ask questions. But make sure the questions you ask are appropriate. Never ask “What does your company do?” It shows you didn’t do your research and aren’t as interested in the company as you say.
  6. Be prepared to answer questions about your resume. While a career fair conversation isn’t a job interview, a recruiter might ask questions about entries on your resume. Be prepared to talk about why you chose your field of study, your previous work experiences or any other items listed on your resume.
  7. Don’t take the free stuff unless offered. Employers bring all sorts of goodies, from water bottles to stress balls to candy, to get applicants’ attention. But don’t ruin the great impression you’ve made by asking “Hey, can I have this?”
  8.  Ask the employer for a business card. You’re going to need his or her contact information when you send a follow up email after the event. Don’t be upset if they say no – some companies have policies against handing out business cards at recruiting event.
  9. Be respectful of time. Interactions with employers at career fairs are brief. Remember, it’s not a job interview. Understand that the employer wants to talk to other candidates (just like you want to talk to other companies).
  10. Say thank you and leave with a firm handshake. It seals the deal, letting the employer know that you enjoyed your conversation and look forward to following up.

So often job seekers say “if only I could speak to recruiters in person, they would see what a great candidate I am!” EmployUP is your chance, so prepare for this opportunity.

6 easy steps for investigating companies you want to talk to at EmployUP

EmployUP is less than one month away! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity for face-to-face time with recruiters who are hiring candidates for full-time jobs. The event takes place March 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Grady Cole Center (adjacent to the Central campus).

Career fairs can be overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. The key is knowing ahead of time which companies you want to talk to and why. Doing this will make EmployUP seem more manageable and help you make a positive first impression with employers.

Follow these six steps for learning about companies and mapping out a successful career fair strategy.

1. Find out which companies are coming to EmployUP. Check out the list of attending companies. This page is organized by AAS programs, making it easier for you to see which companies are recruiting students with your academic background and skills.

2. Check companies recruiting complimentary academic programs. Students in the Culinary Arts program may also want to check which companies are recruiting Baking and Pastry Arts students. Companies looking for Mechanical Engineering Technology applicants may also be interested in Mechatronics Technology students.

3. Make a list of companies you want to meet at EmployUP.  When you arrive at the event you’ll be given a floor plan showing where company tables are located. Bring your company list and a highlighter so you can quickly locate your targeted companies.

4. Log onto EmploymeNC and apply to jobs posted by your target companies. Employers are directed to post their job openings in EmploymeNC. Applying to posted jobs before attending EmployUP shows your high level of interest in the company.

5. Research your target companies. This is a critical step. Employers are interested in candidates who know about their company.

  • Learn the company’s mission, products and services.
  • Visit the company’s social media sites to get the latest, up-to-date information.
  • Know how your skills and qualifications match the company’s needs (hint: Next week’s blog post will focus on how to market your skills to employers, so stay tuned!).

6. Prepare a list of questions to ask. Having a set of questions ready shows you’re prepared. Our list of questions can help you get started.

Researching companies ahead of time is extremely important for success at EmployUP. Schedule time over the next few weeks to accomplish this step.

Get your resume EmployUP ready!

Is your resume EmployUP ready? Bring copies of your professional resume to EmployUP, CPCC’s career fair that takes place on March 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Grady Cole Center. You’ll be submitting them to employers in hopes of receiving an invitation for a job interview!

What makes a resume EmployUP ready? 

  • No typos. Carefully review your resume for grammar errors and typos.
  • Consistent font style and size. Choose a traditional font style (Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman and Verdana are examples). Use a size that is no smaller than 11 point. Keep sizes consistent for each entry. Whichever size you use for one category title, for example, should be used for all category titles.
  • Bullet points. Avoid long paragraph descriptions.  Employers don’t read them. Use bullet points instead.
  • No “I” statements. Complete sentences aren’t necessary. Start with action verbs to describe your job duties.
  • One page length. Keep the resume to one page. Unless you have extensive relevant experience that justifies two pages, resumes should not exceed one page.
  • Targeted to specific industries or companies. Research your companies of interest beforehand, and develop your objective and skills sections to match what the companies are seeking.
  • Easily identified Education section. Make sure employers can easily see the degree/certificate/diploma you are earning (or have earned). Employers attending EmployUP are looking for specific programs – be sure yours is highlighted.
  • Contact information listed at the top of the page. Don’t forget your phone number and email address. If you have a LinkedIn profile, list the url.

How can Career Services help you make your resume EmployUP ready?

Resume reviews. Career Services counselors can review your resume in four ways:

  1. Schedule a resume appointment with your campus career counselor.
  2. Email your resume to career.services@cpcc.edu and receive feedback within 24 hours.
  3. Stop by Central Campus Drop In Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a resume review (no appointment necessary)
  4. Upload your resume to your EmploymeNC account and receive feedback within 24 hours.

Online resume resources. Use the following online resumes to help you develop your resume:

  1. View the Career Services Resume Tips video.
  2. Check out the Resume Info Link on the Career Services webpage.
  3. Review the resume guidelines and samples in the Career Services Career Guide.

EmployUP is just over one month away! Don’t delay in getting your resume ready for this hiring event.