Principal Financial Group

October 24, 2007 17:32 ET

Career Fairs-Career Door Opener or Career Dud?

The Principal Financial Group Releases First "Nu @ the U" Column for the Academic Year

DES MOINES, IA--(Marketwire - October 24, 2007) - "Nu @ the U" is an advice column written for young professionals navigating the unknown waters of internship and career. The workplace column addresses the most timely and common questions received by the national college recruiting staff of the Principal Financial Group®. University newspapers are encouraged to run "Nu @ the U" in their campus publications at no charge.

Columns are written by Nu Huynh, college recruitment consultant at The Principal® and made available bi-weekly, Oct. 2007 - May 2008. The column debuted on Jan. 24, 2007. To view past "Nu @ the U" columns, visit

Dear Nu,

What is the point of a career fair? Paper resumes are a hassle and recruiters meet with hundreds of prospects. Isn't there something more productive I could do with my time?


Better Things To Do

Dear Better,

So you have better things to do than, say, make a contact that could land you a job? Or learn about great companies that weren't even on your radar before?

Career fairs are for more than just handing out resumes. Think of a career fair as a networking opportunity -- and as a chance to hone your smile-and-handshake skills.

Keep these career fair survival tips in mind:

-- Dress the part. Think of a career fair as the interview before
the interview, and dress professionally.

-- Prepare your spiel ahead of time. Be ready to briefly -- but
ever-so-eloquently -- summarize your accomplishments, your
objectives and what you have to offer prospective employers.
The goal is to pique the recruiter's interest without
monopolizing his or her time.

-- Maintain your composure. Career fairs can be hard work. After
an hour or two of talking to company reps, shaking hands and
networking, you may need to "freshen up." Drink water, pop a
mint and keep your hands dry if you're apt to sweat. It's hard
for a recruiter to focus on what you're saying if they are
distracted by your, shall we say, body language.

Recruiters will remember your name, they will write down your information and they will remember how well you presented yourself. Even without a paper resume.

Nu Huynh is lead campus relations consultant at the Principal Financial Group. She travels the country looking for the best and brightest recruits. To view past "Nu @ the U" columns, visit

The Principal Financial Group, a member of the FORTUNE 500, leading financial services company ( The Principal has more than 14,000 employees world-wide and has been recognized as a best-in-class employer by Fortune, ComputerWorld, Working Mother and LATINAStyle magazines.

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