7 things you must do after attending EmployUP

EmployUP16 photoDid you attend last week’s EmployUP? Did you talk to recruiters about job opportunities? Did you give your resume to any employers?

If you answered yes to these questions you still have some work to do. Attending EmployUP is the first step in your job search. Follow these seven steps to increase your chances of being contacted for a job interview.

Send a thank you note. Thank you emails can make or break a job offer. Ideally your thank you note was sent to employers within 48 hours after the event. But it’s not too late. Your note should thank the recruiter for the conversation and reiterate your interest in their company and employment opportunities. Reference a specific conversation topic to refresh their memory of talking with you. If you didn’t get a business card from employers, check EmploymeNC, the Career Services online job board. Companies who attended EmployUP likely have their contact information listed here.

Contact companies you didn’t speak to at EmployUP. It’s also not too late to reach out to companies of interest that you didn’t speak with at the event. Check out the Career Services EmployUP Pinterest Board to find the list of companies that attended. Find the company in EmploymeNC and follow up.

Do as employers instructed. If employers asked you to forward additional information or requested that you complete an online application, get this task done as soon as possible.

Don’t panic. Employers attend many career fairs, collect lots of resumes and receive a huge volume of emails. It’s understandable that you’re anxious, but give employers time to evaluate the candidates. If recruiters mentioned a date you could anticipate hearing from them, wait until a few days past the date and politely reach out to inquire the status of your application.

Be persistent, but not pushy. There is a fine line between reiterating your interest in the job opportunity and harassing the recruiter. A recruiter may likely reject a candidate who sends multiple emails and phone calls, especially if the recruiter has indicated a hiring timeline.

Review your job search strategy. If you attended EmployUP, sent thank you notes and follow-up correspondence and still have not heard from employers, schedule an appointment with a career counselor. While it’s likely that you just need to allow more time for your job search, it can’t hurt to review your resume, job searching strategy and networking skills for areas of improvement.

Use other job search resources. A career fair is just one of many ways to learn about job opportunities. Continue using other options (networking, social media, online job boards) to increase your job search success.

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.