Let’s face it. Career fairs can be intimidating. You get dressed up, tweak your resume, and walk around a room packed full of professionals from different companies eager to question you. It is overwhelming and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Career fairs are an exceptional way to make a great first impression and get your foot in the door. Instead of sending your resume online, you get real face time with a recruiter from that organization. Your chances of getting called in for an interview are drastically higher than someone who submitted their resume online along with the other 500 people that did the same.
If your school has a career fair coming up soon, don’t miss out! Follow these tips to help you nail the career fair and score the job.
- Dress for success – Don’t dress like you’re going to a night club. Be conservative and professional. Opt for the lower heals and avoid tight clothing. Your image is our first impression of who you are.
- Prepare ahead of time – Research the companies that will be there and decide which ones you are most interested in. Be prepared with questions for these companies. Just by mentioning a recent project or fact about each company, you can instantly establish your interest. Create a flawless resume and bring several copies.
- Practice your elevator speech – Companies want to know who you are. So, tell them. Prepare a brief 30 second message that summarizes who you are, what you are looking for and how you can benefit the company or organization.
- Be confident and lighten up - You have nothing to lose. Walk in strong and approach potential employers. You do not have to wait for them to talk to you first. Always let your personality shine through. Are you funny, kind, passionate? Wonderful! Your personality will help us remember you. It is important to stand out.
- Save the best for last – If you are nervous, practice first. Start with companies that you are least interested in and “practice” on them. Once you get the hang of it, move on to the big wigs.
We highly recommend to start attending career fairs in your junior year. Career fairs are usually held twice a year. This allows you to gain practice at four career fairs before you graduate and gives you the opportunity to establish a relationship with the recruiters.
Remember preparation is key. If you create a plan, do your research, dress appropriately, and be yourself, you will be successful.
Now, go out and nail it!