While some may be intimidated by the thought of career fairs, these events are set up to provide valuable opportunities for students to meet with prospective employers and learn more about their companies, hiring processes and openings. Even if you are not exactly sure which career path you would like to take, career fairs allow you the chance to ask employers, from multiple different fields, questions concerning their work. Follow these eight significant tips so you can get the most out of attending a career fair.
Before attending a career fair set your expectations for what type of job you are looking for. What are your goals? Are you looking to work full-time or part-time? Do you want to stay local or would you be flexible in relocating? Additionally, while job fairs are a great opportunity to make initial connections with potential employers, don’t expect to be given a job or interview on the spot. Focus on making personal connections, selling yourself and investigating leads.
It’s important to research which employers will be at the career fair prior to attending. Look into the company’s history, what positions these companies are hiring for and job responsibilities. Doing some background research on these companies will show the potential employers that you are serious about applying and interested in working with them.
Since career fairs typically only last a few hours, it’s essential to prioritize which employers you can see yourself working with. Think about which industries you would like to work in and more specifically, the workplace culture and opportunities you’re looking for. If you’re not quite sure yet, brainstorm some specific questions to ask in order to narrow your job search.
Have someone look over your resume and make sure there are no spelling or grammar areas. Update your experience to include your most recent positions and print out multiple copies to have handy at the event. It’s essential to bring a resume and cover letter so employers have something concrete to remember you by.
Prepare a quick 30-second introduction about yourself to communicate with potential employers. It’s beneficial to practice and perfect this so you make a positive first impression. You want to highlight your value through your education, experience, and skills. It’s important to speak with confidence and give supporting examples.
While at the career fair it is essential to look the part. Make sure to dress professionally and appropriately to make the best impression on potential employers. Utilize direct eye contact when speaking and offer a firm handshake when introducing yourself.
After speaking with each company take some quick notes on your phone or a piece of paper about what you discussed and your initial reactions or thoughts. This will be helpful later, as you may become overwhelmed after speaking to multiple companies. Make sure to get the representative’s business card after speaking to them in order to follow up later.
After reviewing your notes, follow up with any potential employers that sparked your interest. Sending a follow-up email or letter will reestablish your interest in the company or position and give employers a chance to reply. Make sure that you thank them for their time and reaffirm your interest in the job. Additionally, it can be beneficial to connect with the recruiters on LinkedIn, offering another valuable way to stay in touch.
Keep these 8 tips in mind as you prepare, attend, and after you leave the job fair. A positive impression is the main source of success so be sure to prep as much as possible ahead of time. Above all, remember to relax and be yourself!
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