With name tags on their freshly ironed shirts and sweat trickling down their faces, students lined up in front of booths to try and score an interview with their big smiles.
The annual College of Agriculture career fair had over 100 companies in attendance on Tuesday. For many students, it’s a chance to get their foot in the door with prestigious companies including John Deere, Tyson Foods and Disney. These companies were looking to fill internship and full time positions.
Annie Li, a junior in the College of Agriculture, said she’s interested in companies that work behind the scenes of food science, such as ones that create flavors. To prepare for the fair, she put the most effort into researching these companies.
“I did some research on the companies,” Li said. “Read their press releases that they had, prepared a couple of questions I had for them, and et cetera.”
Li said she takes advantage of many campus career fairs, including the Industrial Roundtable, because it’s a great way for her to get to know the companies. It also makes her more comfortable talking to representatives at the career fairs. Li thinks first impressions are important, but the experience students have to back up their presentations is also significant.
“I definitely think you should be professionally dressed and present yourself very well,” Li said, “but I would like to think that my resume matters more than what I wear.”
One company that attended the event, Farmer, Lumpe +McClelland, specializes in the business of agriculture. Representatives said the company attended because of Purdue’s reputation.
“We’re definitely looking for top-notch students, which is why we came to Purdue,” said Cody Cheetham, senior business manager. “We’ve met some really great candidates so far. Students here are very well organized. All of them have done their homework and done their research.”
Both Cheetham and Tiffany Krause, an associate business manager, agree that the first impression, rather than the resume, is the most crucial part of an interview.
“We get a lot of resumes,” Krause said. “It’s nice when you can recall that first impression and that face with their resume.”
It only takes 30 seconds to make a lasting first impression. Cheetham said. Giving a firm handshake, making eye contact and dressing up are simple ways to let a resume stand out more than the others.
“First impression, for sure,” Cheetham said, “Regardless of what you’re doing, your resume backs up your first impression.”