The Annual Southern California Public Interest/ Public Sector Career Day (PICD) is right around the corner. The event, co-organized by 11 Southern California law schools, is one of the largest public service career fairs in the country. Over 130 nonprofit organizations, private public interest firms and government agencies participate every year. Their combined efforts provide students the opportunity to interview for jobs, externships and internships, as well as network with individuals in their chosen profession. The career fair can be a valuable experience to interact with potential employers whether or not you are interested in pursuing a career in public service. This event can open a door to new work experiences and help you gain feedback on your resume, cover letter and interview.
This year’s PICD conference will be hosted virtually on February 12, 2022. If you are planning on attending, here are five tips to help you prepare:
- Register Right Away: Those interested in attending should go to the event website to access the list of participating employers and register for the event. After registering, spend time looking over the list of employers and decide who you want to meet with and determine what materials they require you to submit. Each employer will meet with a minimum of one student from each law school. That is a benefit to Western State students as our enrollment numbers are smaller than some of the other schools in the consortium, making it more likely to get interviews with your top prospects.
- Update Your Resume and Cover Letter: After you have selected your top employers, you will need to update your resume and cover letter to ensure they are competitive. They should not only address your relevant work and education experience, but also any experiences you have that make you a strong fit for the specific role. Schedule time to meet with career services to review your resume, cover letter and other materials you may want to share.
- Do Your Research: Every organization and agency has different missions and values. Take the time to conduct thorough research on each of the organizations you are meeting with once you have received your interview schedule. Gain a strong understanding of what the employers are driven by, the mission statements of the organization, recent published cases and most importantly, how your skills, experience and knowledge can help them achieve their goals.
- Prepare for Your Interviews: Prepare for the virtual interview just like you would an in-person interview. This includes donning professional attire, as well as ensuring your interview space is clean and clear of any distractions. Be sure you have sufficient internet connection, good lighting, a working camera and microphone, a professional background and prepared notes.
Do not delay if you are interested in participating. Students must register and bid on interviews by January 21, 2022. In addition, be sure to connect early with career services to get additional support.