Since I work in a company of three, I get to do the job I was hired for, plus other random jobs, such as recruiting! I spent Friday at my very first school's recruiting fair as an employer. I went to multiple back when I was in college, but I was exceptionally excited to be back at a fair as an employer. I was imagining flocks of people shoving their way to my table and rushing to hand in a resume. It was nothing like that. We got some great candidates, and we got a few who are perfect examples of what not to say to potential employers. Here's a list of real things real college students said to us while we were at the career fair that made me wonder if they understand how to get a job:
- The very first person we talked to told us she was a marketing student and then we explained our company and she goes, "Facebook? So anyone can do this job." Maybe don't trivialize a company's job when you are trying to hand in your resume.
- "I've never heard of your company. What can you do for me?" Ballsy. If her tone was a bit softer, that might have actually worked, but as she said it like she was entitled to get a job, I made a mental note that she was too pretentious to actually make me want to employ her. She also clearly didn't do her research like lots of her peers did, so she already distinguished herself as not as committed as her competition.
- "I already have a plan for when I graduate, but I thought this could be a good backup." I appreciate the fact that this girl is honest, but why in God's name are you walking around essentially telling companies that you don't really want to work for them, but if their plan A falls through, you could be their plan B? No one is going to want to follow up with you if you are not ranking them a priority.
- "I still don't see the value of my college education." This wasn't insulting in any way, shape, or form to me or the company I work for, but it is a huge slap in the face to the school he is currently attending, which is a prestigious school that people would die to go to. If he is willing to walk around insulting the education provided to him, I am sure he would do the same about our company if he was hired. Even beyond that, I greatly value my college education and if we are that fundamentally different on our views of education, it may be an indicator that we would not see eye to eye in the working world either.
- "I just came from class so I don't have a resume and didn't see what your company is about." I understand having class, but you knew the career fair was today. They didn't announce it this morning and hope people would show up. Show some initiative and plan ahead, especially your outfit. This girl showed up wearing short shorts with her underwear showing, a cami on, and horrible tan lines. There was nothing professional or employable from her showing up not dressed and totally unprepared.
- I wish I could quote this next exchange because it was hilarious, but I essentially do not even know what happened. We listed ourselves as not being able to hire international students (as we look to hire interns as a way to raise a future full-time employee and international students typically are not long-term options) and the conversation started off with the kid saying that he was an international student that wanted to talk to us anyways, even though he knew we listed as not having positions available. Then he had an unrelated major and no relevant work experience. I could hardly understand him, so I let my co-worker speak to him, and then he got frustrated and said something about how we need to find a way to involve more majors. Then he still didn't leave, so my co-worker told him more about our company and he said something about it not aligning with want he wants. AND HE STILL DIDN'T LEAVE. If you are pointing out that your needs and the company's needs do not align, why are you still wasting everyone's time standing there asking more questions? No matter how long you stand there, new positions outside of our needs are not going to materialize.
As Forest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get." Career fairs are just like that too. You never know if that student approaching is going to be absolutely nuts or totally sweet.