EmployAbility Expo for People with Disabilities
March 15, 2013,
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.,
Apollo Room, Student Union, Wright State University, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio.
ThinkAbility - Show Determination, Value Education, Take Action
Hosted by Wright State University Career Services and Office of Disability Services, Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley, Montgomery County Job Center, Clark State Community College, Rehabilitation Services Commission, Social Security Administration, WrightChoice, Inc., and Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
During this event employers network with individuals with disabilities. Employers may have current or anticipated job opportunities, including non-degree generalist positions, co-op, internship, and career employment opportunities.
Job candidates are advised to dress professionally and bring plenty of résumés. One copy of the résumé is required for admission.
Review event details and tips for success
Bring your professional résumé
A copy of your résumé is required for admission. Present it at the registration table in the Skylight Lobby of the Student Union on the day of the event.
Call in advance about accomodations
Contact Angela Bonza, firstname.lastname@example.org, 937.775.5680.
Make contact regarding accomodations prior to March 8, 2013
Prepare in advance for EmployAbility Expo
- Dress professionally. Review Career Services recommendations on professional dress
- Review the list of participating organizations available on the EmployAbility Expo candidate information section prior to the event
- Research the organizations that interest you. Do this research prior to the fair. Visit the organization website listed in the list of participating organizations and thoroughly review the information. Recruiters at the event will expect you to have done this research
- Each employer you speak to will want a copy of your résumé. Prepare copies of polished, professional résumés to distribute to every representative with whom you speak, plus one for admission to the fair, and a few extras. Visit the Career Services Online Résumé Workshop for résumé assistance
- Gather your résumés and a notepad in a professional portfolio. Include a pen to take notes. Plan to secure briefcases, backpacks, overcoats, or other cumbersome, personal items elsewhere. If you need an assistant to help with this, please arrange in advance to bring one
- If friends or parents ask to accompany you, advise them it would be inappropriate. They can help you by assisting with pre-fair research, proofreading your résumé, and practicing your interview skills
- Prepare a 20 second summary to use when introducing yourself to organization representatives. If you use a communication device, please make sure that it is working properly
- Lines may form at booths and can require you to wait for an opportunity to speak with the representative. It is not possible to run in and drop off a résumé. Schedule your time and other morning or afternoon obligations to allow full participation
- If you are seeking information only, research your particular field of interest prior to the event, and compose a list of relevant and specific questions. Also research the organizations with whom you plan to speak. Convey a professional image and be prepared when you are informational interviewing
Plan ahead to participate in Mock Interviews
On the day of the event, you may sign up for a mock interview. Slots will be filled on a first come, first served basis, until all openings are filled.
- The Mock Interview allows you to practice your interview skills and get feedback from professionals on your performance.
- Candidates must check back at the Mock Interview sign in table to check on availability of their interviewer. Specific instructions will be given to you at the time you sign up.
- Please provide a copy of your résumé at the Mock Interview appointment.
- There is no charge for the Mock Interview experience.
Prepare for interviews with participating employers
- In preparing for an employment interview, identify your accomplishments. This will help you respond to questions by giving examples of your skills and abilities.
- You are in charge of the information that you share in the interview. What you share is your decision, including disclosure of disability. The Office of Disability Services can advise you on this topic.
- Be aware of your non-verbal communication as well as your verbal communication. Pay attention to your posture, your dress, your eye contact, the expression on your face, your handshake. The majority of communication is non-verbal. Be sure your non-verbals make a good impression.
- Review some questions you can expect to be asked (PDF)
- In addition, you may be asked general questions designed to reveal your past behavioral patterns. This is called behavioral interviewing. Behavioral interviewing is based on the belief that future behavior can be predicted by past behavior. Interviewers will ask about your performance in previous, real situations. We recommend that you follow the P.A.R. model in responding to behavioral interview questions. For more information on P.A.R., review our Mock Interview information. You can effectively answer behavioral interviewing questions by following a model referred to as P-A-R: Problem - Action - Results. In the PAR model, you first describe the problem or situation; then relate the action you took; and, finally, the results. Specific examples with salient details are best.
- At an on-campus recruiting event, organization representatives are generally screening potential candidates. It is unlikely there will be time for you to ask questions. However, if you have questions based on your advanced research of the company and an opportunity presents itself, do ask. Be considerate of others if there is a long line behind you and avoid monopolizing the representative's time. A recruiting fair is not an appropriate venue for asking detailed questions about job duties, salary, benefits, or other items to be negotiated after a job offer.
- Leave the interview with a clear sense of the timeline for follow up. If there is a decision being made - for example, you will be contacted to set up an interview - ask when you can expect that step and subsequent steps to occur.
- It is not appropriate to ask questions to which you should have already found out the answer, such as: "Tell me about your organization."
- Always thank the organization representative and shake hands upon goodbye.
- Collect a business card.
- Always send a thank you letter to each representative with whom you speak.
Review strategies for working the event
- Review the updated information available at the student registration table in the Skylight Lobby of the Student Union, on the day of the event. There are sometimes last minute changes (including additional companies) which are only available at the registration table.
- Refine your action plan. Prioritize your interest in the organizations and proceed in that order.
- As you visit each booth, your confidence and presentation skills will improve. You may be most polished after one or two encounters with organization representatives.
- Before entering the room, set aside casual, personal behavior and mentally prepare yourself for a positive, professional interaction.
- If you do not get to all the booths on your list before the fair ends, directly contact your other choices later in the week. The Office of Disability Services will have contact information the next week, at the front desk, in E023 Student Union.
Polish your presentation skills
- Are you well pressed, buttoned, and suited up? Is your hair well groomed and conservatively styled? Have you removed excess jewelry? Can you smile with confidence? Make a last minute check in a mirror.
- Adopt your professional demeanor and enter the fair with a smile.
- Circulate by yourself, not in groups or with friends.
- Maintain your professionalism while waiting in line. Recruiters note and remember breaches of business decorum.
- When it is your turn, offer a firm handshake if able, and make direct eye contact. It is important to make a good first impression.
- Introduce yourself and present your résumé. Use your 20 second, prepared introduction to begin the conversation. Articulate your job search objective.
- The organization representative will quickly review your résumé and begin asking you questions about the résumé content or about your specific interests. You will benefit from having conducted pre-fair research on the company and its products or services, because in this conversation you will want to describe how you see yourself fitting in.
- As the organization representative asks you questions, don't be surprised or offended if they break eye contact and begin making notes on the back of your résumé - this is normal! Maintain your eye contact and focus on the organization representative; do not let your attention wander. Do not try to read what they are writing. Instead, continue to respond enthusiastically to the questions you are asked. The notes are generated by your responses, and help identify you from among the other candidates.
- When the organization representative wants to talk to the next person, they will give you a verbal or non-verbal cue. They may make a closing statement: for example, "Thank you for talking with me today," "I will contact you at a later date," or "I will pass your résumé on to the Human Resources department and someone will get in touch with you." Non-verbal cues may include interacting with the next person in line by turning toward them, smiling directly at them, or nodding in their direction.
- Incorporate the "How to Prepare for the Interview" tips listed previously into your interaction with the organization representative.
- Thank the organization representative for their time and consideration. Ask for a business card - you will need the correct spelling of the name, the title, company address, for your formal thank you letter. It is helpful to have a phone number for your reference. Get a business card from everyone you speak to. If they do not have a business card, ask for their name and the correct spelling, and phone number, and write the information down.
- Send a formal thank you letter to everyone with whom you spoke. Computer generate or type the letter. A thank you letter is most effective when mailed within 48 hours.
Review the list of participating employers
During this event employers talk to individuals with disabilities about job opportunities, including non-degree generalist positions, co-op, internship, and career employment opportunities.
Registration deadline has passed. We hope to see you at next year's event!
Employer setup on the day of the event is 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
At Employability Expo, you may meet international students who are seeking work.
We offer a wide variety of services and programs to employers seeking Wright State University student and alumni job candidates.
Directions to the Campus
Photos of EmployAbility Expo
Photos from past EmployAbility Expos will be posted soon!
If you have questions about the EmployAbility Expo, or if you have questions about interviewing, hiring, and working with people with disabilities, contact the event coordinator, Angela Bonza, WrightChoice, Inc. (Dayton office), in the Office of Disability Services, Wright State University, (937) 775-5680, or email email@example.com