It’s career fair season for many colleges and universities across the country. Large rooms full of potential employers and opportunities – Career fairs can be overwhelming and a little nerve-wracking! If you’ve never been to a career fair or if you want to learn how to have a better experience, we pulled together some advice to help. Check it out:
Adjust Your Mindset and Wardrobe
Think of career fairs like a networking opportunity and a job interview rolled up into one experience, so dress professionally. Having this mindset in place is square one as you begin to prepare.
Research Attending Organizations
Look online to see the list of organizations attending, and research each company and their opportunities. This will help you narrow down who you should speak to and avoid looking like you’re wandering around aimlessly. Researching beforehand will also help you have more meaningful conversations with companies’ representatives.
Have Copies of Your Resume
Many employers prefer you to give them a copy of your resume versus a business card, as business cards are easy to lose. So have many copies of your resume ready to hand out.
Prepare Elevator Speech
Also have your 30-second elevator speech ready. Career fairs can be a little rushed, so being able to concisely introduce yourself and skillsets will be a huge benefit.
Have Thoughtful Questions Ready
Along with copies of your resume and an elevator speech, have thoughtful questions ready. These questions should be about information you wouldn’t be able to quickly find on a website, so you can convey your interest and show the employer you’ve done your homework.
While speaking to various employers, make sure you’re smiling. This will show them that you’re enthusiastic and interested in the conversation, making you even more memorable and enjoyable to talk to!
Follow Up with New Connections
After the career fair, make sure you follow up with all your new connections to keep the leads warm. Send a brief “thank you for your time” email, and try to set up a follow up conversation.
Does everybody walk away from a career fair with a job in place? No, but if you remember our advice, you will pave the way for more successful experience.
Have additional insight? Leave a comment!