Career fairs can be daunting. There are plenty of companies, people and fellow students vying for the same jobs you are. If this is your first career fair, you may be unsure where to begin. However, if all goes well you may be able to make positive connections toward future employment. Consider these three tips to help you ace your school career fair.
- Do your research
This is crucial. Many students enter a career fair bright-eyed and holding a pile of resumes with no idea where to begin.1 These days, researching ahead of time is everything. Look into who might be attending the career fair and find out if you're interested in any of the companies there. Think of a few questions you might ask, that relate directly to their company or advancements they've made lately. Research any recent news in the field that you could mention in a discussion. Having business knowledge at your disposal will pay off.
- Lay out a plan To do well at a job fair, you should have a plan.2 After doing your research, figure out what companies you want to talk to first. When you arrive at the event, study the layout of the booths or tables. Notice where the crowds are. Work your way from companies with the least amount of people to the greatest amount. That'll save you time while you pull in the business cards.
- Realize you're being evaluated Some students don't take a career fair seriously or believe that employers will forget them before they even apply. However, employers remember more than you may think. It's important to treat a career fair like an interview – clothes and professionalism matter. Dress appropriately and always deliver a firm handshake with plenty of eye contact. Be sure to ask well-researched questions and listen accordingly. Exude confidence, even if you're incredibly nervous. Discuss any leadership roles or volunteer opportunities you've had on campus. All of these are aspects that employers and interviewers look for in ideal candidates. It could pay off more than you think.
These are just a few tips to consider before stepping into your school career fair. Job fairs are a great opportunity to practice your interview skills while making valuable connections. Follow these suggestions to help achieve your goals.