Did you just notice a flyer for a career or internship fair at your school? Your college or university may have a fair on campus or in a nearby city with other schools. A career or internship fair is a great way to make valuable connections with employers!
Here are five pointers for your Career Fair:
You won’t regret participating. Approach the event as a great opportunity to learn, as well as meet and impress employers.
Visit your Career Services office and see what they offer to help you to prepare. Look for classes and workshops about resume writing, LinkedIn, first impressions and networking. Ask for the list of employers who will be attending. Pick the employers that are of the greatest interest for you in advance so you can focus on those specifically. It’s too early to connect on LinkedIn with the recruiter, but you should definitely review their profile before the fair so you can look for something you might have in common. Spend some quality time on the career fair and company websites as well as social channels as a part of your preparation. Consider tweeting out to those recruiters that you are excited to meet them on campus. Research the specific jobs available before you arrive. Practice being able to answer and ask questions. Your questions or comments should illustrate that you have researched the company and position and are the best person for the job!
Dress, Act and Enter the Fair with confidence!
Look professional in business attire. Bring along a thin case or portfolio to hold your resume copies, company information and business cards. Arrive on time so you can meet all the people you have been researching. Don’t travel around the fair with your buddies. You will perform much better alone. As you enter the fair, register as an attendee and locate the employer booths of interest. Use a name tag if provided. If your fair is using LinkedIn’s Checkin, be sure to use that tool to connect. As you meet employers, be sure to smile, make eye contact and have a firm handshake. You may have to assertively introduce yourself.
You need to be memorable at the booth.
Employers are meeting hundreds of students during a fair. First impressions really do count. Make an impressive approach at each booth by knowing the recruiter’s name and asking for him or her. Ask great questions that show you have researched the company and the job openings. If you have something in common with the recruiter, like school or major or hometown, it’s a good thing to mention. Be sure to take notes after each booth visit so you can follow up appropriately. Ask the recruiter for possible next steps. You also want to be yourself and let your personality shine through. At the end of the day, you want the recruiters to remember you specifically.
You need to be memorable after the fair too. Use the business cards and notes to craft a letter or email to each person to thank them for their time at the booth. Let them know specifically what you enjoyed about the conversation as this will reinforce their memory of you. Remind them why you are perfect for the position in your note. Indicate that you will call them to discuss next steps. Then be sure to call them!
Career Fairs are a great opportunity to be face to face with employers interested in students from your school. How do you prepare for a career fair.