Amanda Van Vranken
Echo Lake Aquarium & Science Center
What type of applicant is ECHO looking for while at The Job Fair? When it’s over, what is your next step as an employer?
We are always looking for highly motivated individuals whose unique backgrounds and experiences will contribute to our diversity and strengthen our organization. Volunteers and interns bring experience, leadership skills, and enthusiasm to support our mission. After the Job Fair, we look through resumes and begin a conversation with applicants about what might be the best fit for their skills and interests. Since ECHO’s Internships are very competitive, we are often taking applications for the next semester or beyond.
What should students do to follow up with employers of interest?
I highly recommend students always follow up with ECHO. It’s an advantage to show your commitment to the organization, initiative, organizational skills and follow through by asking if an employer needs more information or what the timeline is for hiring. I always appreciate emails from students who are “Just checking in to say hi and say how much they are looking forward to this opportunity”.
How can a student stand out in the application process?
Anything you can do to set yourself apart is welcome. Identify your skills and use them – If you have strong interpersonal skills, try to meet staff and volunteers. If you have strong writing skills, present a unique resume and cover letter. Draw on experiences or class work and explain why it has initiated growth and contributed to your skill set. In addition, mention personal contacts or connections that make your reason for applying compelling.
What if a student wasn’t able to attend the Job Fair or didn’t connect with a particular employer?
Students can always go online to look at ECHO’s (or other organization’s) opportunities, as well as apply on-line or email with specific questions. When applying, be pro-active, know your schedule, and be realistic with your time commitments.