College is an important life experience that can prepare you for the workforce. Career fairs are the way to go. They are important for getting internships, co-ops, apprenticeships, and full-time jobs. However, some people go unprepared. These tips can help you help you make more effective use of your time at a career fair.
1. Be confident in yourself. Don’t doubt your abilities. You’ll leave a bad impression if you are negative or have low self-esteem. You really have to give a good “pitch” to the booth recruiters.
2. Relax. Get good sleep prior to going to the career fair, and eat a healthy breakfast to minimize your nervousness.
3. Dress appropriately. Business casual is good, some people wear full suits, but that’s not necessary. Appropriate attire consists of a dress shirt, slacks, and dress shoes. You can optionally wear a tie or suit jacket for the event.
4. Bring copies of a professional resume. Before you go to the career fair, make sure it’s edited, proof-read (such as at your university’s career center), and print out a lot of copies. Some booths will scan a copy, but others prefer a physical copy.
5. Research companies ahead of time. Get to know the company prior to going to the event because when you go to a recruiter, sounding knowledgeable about the company will leave a better impression.
6. Practice your speech/pitch before you go. Practice in front of a mirror or in front of your family. Some schools offer mock-up interviews to help you get better at this. Your pitch should be relatively short and contain your best hirable skills.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It helps you seem more interested in the company. It shows that you really want to do an internship or work for a company instead of not caring.
8. Explore as many opportunities as you can. Career fairs don’t happen very often. Go to the spring and fall career fair, and go to other career as you find. Talk to as many companies as you can and just explore around.
9. Try to leave a good impression on recruiters by engaging them in conservation instead of only giving your resume and not much else. You want to demonstrate your confidence and social skills because you’re more than just a list of skills on a resume.
10. Don’t give up. If a company doesn’t have opportunities that are suitable for you, look elsewhere. Not every company will have relevant openings, but don’t let that get you down.
Do you have any career fair tips? What did or did not work for you? Leave a comment below!