4 Career Fair Tips For Connecting With Great Employers

Hi, I'm Rachel Podell and I head up Talent Acquisition at Murphy Research.

Murphy Research crafts its entry-level Research Associate position through an apprenticeship model to help raise our next generation of market researchers. Our leadership takes a lot of pride in the training and mentorship we offer to help advance junior researchers through our career path. Many of our researchers grow into advanced positions, taking on more complex project work and leadership roles. And, as in any business, some employees do move-on; but, we're proud to say that when they do, most head off to amazing client-side or academic research opportunities. We continue to be proud of our work and training, and as I focus on our talent recruitment efforts, we aim to uncover the pinnacle factors for talent success.

To start, our leadership agrees that candidates who come from a social science background tend to advance well through our interview process and ultimately lead to great market research hires. So, we decided to go straight to the heart of this education, and get to know our local university communities.

As a first step, I led our recruiting efforts on-site to three university career fairs right here in our Southern California backyard. Many thanks to USC, UCLA, and UCI for sharing your talent, and teaching us so much!

What did we learn? Here's 4 Tips to Know you're Talking to A Good Employer:

Tip 1: Look for a thoughtful set-up!

Is the recruiter you're speaking with standing behind an awesome-looking table?

We had multiple students come up and introduce themselves solely because they thought we looked approachable and had a great set-up. We also had a variety of swag, nicely presented, and even found that big-hit items varied by school (hats, puzzles, pens, and shopping bags were all in the mix).

Tip 2: Seek Out Employers with Information on Display!

Murphy Research is not afraid to educate! We're not surprised that you don't know what we do or where to start asking questions. We like to have a poster out that explains what we do and how it relates to student skills. So many students looked at our poster and said, "Hey, qualitative and quantitative research? That's what I do every day in class!" This gave students a quick opening line or question to start off what might otherwise be a very intimidating initial conversation.

Tip 3: Ask your professors and advisors!

Faculty and administrators interact with students on a daily basis, and it's often in their best interest as well to help those students connect with career opportunities. Look out for any announcements or promotional materials that professors, departments, or student groups send, or simply ask your career counselor if they have any suggestions based on your interests. At Murphy Research, we love to connect with faculty and are always grateful when teachers or counselors send candidates our way!

Tip 4: Ask the employer about their follow-up process!

Do you know exactly what you need to do in order to proceed toward consideration? Ask the recruiter if you can leave a resume for them, and be sure to ask for a business card if they haven't already offered one. Employers often leave fairs with a giant stack of resumes, so if they are organized with a clear follow-up process, you'll know what to do to ensure you stand-out from the crowd! We talk to so many students, so we love seeing thank you notes following up that remind us of our detailed conversations.