Many schools offer career fairs and its important that students attend them throughout their college career. While many people attend career fairs in hopes of landing a job or getting free swag, use these opportunities to build your network and to explore your career options. Here are some tips and guidelines to follow to be successful at a career fair.
Before the Career fair
1. Do your research
See what companies are attending the career fair and find your target companies
Doing your research on companies such as knowing their values and what they do can help you see if a company fits your interests and whether it’s a company you want to continue investing your time and energy in
Look at what positions are available and understand the job description and requirements. Researching on a position available can help you discuss why you might be a good fit for their company
2. Prepare and practice your pitch
Your pitch should provide information about who you are, what you do, and what you're looking for
3. Define your personal brand
Create and/or update your Linkedin profile, resume, and business cards
Lazlo Bock's Winning Resume Formula is a great resource for resume guidance
Embody your personal brand and use it to get the recruiters attention
During the Career Fair
1. Present yourself appropriately
Polish yourself professionally with your attire and physical appearance and go as if you're going to your first interview. "Dress for success!"
2. Make a lasting impression
Build rapport with the recruiter and/or a representative of the company
Speak with confidence and don't forget to smile! Show off what you researched and if there's a position that you're interested in, tell them why you would be a good fit to the company and why you want that job.
Ask them strong questions
Asking questions about the company culture and the recruiter's history with the company are some good questions to consider asking
3. Share contact information
At the end of your conversation, ask for their email address and if you could connect with them on Linkedin
Give them your resume and/or business card
After the Career Fair
1. Follow up
Send the recruiter a personable email on the same day of the career fair and thank them for taking the time to speak to you. Recruiters speak to many people during the career fair, so mentioning some highlights from the conversation can help them remember who you are. Connecting with them on Linkedin can also help the recruiter put a face to a name.
2. Apply for positions
After speaking to recruiters and figuring out what companies fit your interests, tailor your resume for those companies and apply!
Upcoming Career Fairs: