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Top 10 Tips for College Career Fair: Beating the Odds

Advice to assist with the before, during and after of career fair.

All the possibilities for advancement in your career can be found at a career fair. It's the prime opportunity to display and or improve your networking skills and professional conversations. If you're still pondering over what job or industry you want to pursue, a career fair can provide unexpected options. Career fairs can offer resume reviews, assistance with the interviewing process, and access to available workshops.


We will provide our assistance by offering 10 tips to make the process successful.


BEFORE THE DAY


1. Research


We highly recommend doing some basic research on the employer that will be in attendance. When researching do the following:

  • Check out their reviews from other students or employees

  • Do a checklist to see if the available roles match your career interests

  • Look at the company website; do an overview


2. Questions


Questions can be a great ice breaker. It shows that you're prepared and driven which can mean that you'll be a great asset to a company. Questions can be over the following:

  • Internship or mentorship programs

  • Professional development opportunities

  • Company culture

3. Introduction


Practice how you plan to introduce yourself. First impressions can have a lasting effect on an employers decision to hire. Be confident with every approach.


4. Outfit


You don't need to stress heavily over what to wear. Business casual will always be the safest route. Wearing a suit is at your discretion. You definitely should NOT wear the following:

  • Athleisure

  • Sweats

  • Halter tops

  • Flip flops

  • Ripped jeans

DAY OF


5. Be Prepared


Bring printouts with the company info that you intend on meeting. Bring a notepad and pen for notes. Bring several copies of an updated resume.


*Do not bring resumes that are 3+ pages in length. Try to summarize it where it can fit on one page if possible. *


6. Notes


Get the business cards of everyone you speak with so you can follow up after the fair. If they do not have cards available, take down their contact info on your notepad. Jot down notes of the conversation to assist when following up.


7. Observation


If you're interested in a certain employer but don't know how to approach them, no worries, we can help.

  • Observe the employer of interest

  • Listen to conversations that other students have with them and note how those student approach them and introduce themselves

  • While listening in on others, write down the answers to questions that you needed answered

  • Watch body language to help you with how you should approach (firm, humorous, etc.)

AFTER THE DAY


8. Interest


If a company has social media outlets such as Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, etc., go and follow them. This shows that you are very interested in their company. This also allows you to stay updated on a personal level.


9. Apply


Send out your application to all the employers of interest. See what other jobs they have posted that you may be interested and apply to those as well as the one discussed at the career fair. If you need a few days to get your application ready, be sure to save your progress along the way.


*Always check for application deadlines. You don't want to miss the opportunity because the portal has closed.*


10. Thank You


It's highly recommended that you follow up within 24 hours or less with an employer. Your follow-up email should consist of the following:

  • Thanking them for their time

  • Specifics of what were discussed, what you learned, or what can be taken away and applied

  • Your next steps (whether you're continuing the application process, etc.)

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