1. wearing an ipod is not ok. this is self-explanatory, right? you are basically saying, “i don’t want to talk” at an event that is all about talking.2. overly formal introductions are too much. a simple, “hi, my name is milford pickles” and a handshake is perfect. please do not do this: “hi, my name is milford pickles. i am a phd candidate writing my thesis on how angry getting pooped on by a bird makes people. before that, i worked for a baboon research lab that had a grant to determine how bad dead baboons smell. turns out: pretty bad. i am originally from apebones, indiana. when i was 5, my father taught me how to fold a five dollar bill into the shape of a pigeon. do you have any openings in your company that would suit me?” you have simultaneously bored the crap out of me and rendered me speechless. congrats.3. don’t pretend you know everything about us. you don’t—and that’s ok. we don’t expect you to know anything about us, really. it is impressive if you at least went to our website and tried, though. when you say that you really enjoy twaining in annotations, i’m probably just going to laugh at you.4. know your audience. this goes for both dress code and conversation. if you are only looking for software development positions, chances are you can wear jeans and a nice shirt and no one will blink an eye. if you are looking at finance positions, wear a suit. if you’re not sure, err on the side of caution. the same goes for conversations. if you see eric and i wearing jeans that’s a pretty good cue that we’re casual, laid back, and don’t expect a ton of formality. observation is really, really important.5. english majors: show up! as an english major and umass alum, i was incredibly disappointed to only see two—yes, two—english majors wandering the floor. there are jobs for you out there, i promise.6. polite, empty conversation. a friend of mine told me an excellent story about attending a career fair with her brother. they had spied these extremely cool give-away mugs on an employer’s table that they absolutely wanted. so, they went up to the employer and started polite conversation. at some point, my friend’s brother interrupted the employer and said, “may i have a mug, sir?”while the phrase “may i have a mug, sir?” had me in stitches, the act made me shake my fist a bit.if you want something from our table, just ask! that’s why we bring it—to give it away. sure, we like conversation first, but only if it’s meaningful for both of us. otherwise, you are wasting our time, and we’re missing out on candidates who actually care.7. keep your b.o. in check. this is another self-explanatory item, but it needs to be said. it was nearly impossible to enter or leave the auditorium. it was very, very crowded, and not very well ventilated. deodorant is important. please do not fart by our table and then walk away. i beg you. (although, i’m pretty sure eric secretly blamed me that one time).


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