Job Fair Tips
Every college across the county has job fairs where companies from all around make their way to an overcrowded gymnasium to look for the cream of the crop. This may come as a surprise, but businesses need you! We are the upcoming generation and that is extremely valuable to any company. Being persistent is the key!
Job Fairs are fairly straight forward but that does not mean it is easy. You should treat potential employers as you would at a job interview. So here are some tricks to help you stand out:
1. Bring an Updated Resume — NO COMPANY WILL HIRE YOU IF YOU DON’T BRING A RESUME. That is a fact. Do not risk running out of resumes during the job fair. Estimate how many you will need to hand out and then double it, maybe even triple it. Follow our tips from our Resume Building section to make sure it is well put together. Please, please, for goodness sake, do not forget your resume.
2. Get Business Cards — It may seem unnecessary but you would be surprised how many recruiters will be pleasantly surprised when you hand them your card. Not many students will have them so it will help set you apart from the rest. It is a low cost – high reward deal.
3. Do Your Research — Look up a list of every organization that is scheduled to be there and do a thorough web search on them. It is not uncommon for a recruiter to ask what you know of their company and why you are interested. Being able to have a good intellectual conversation about the business and ask them well thought out questions will get you a long way.
4. Dress to Impress — Always wear business professional to a job fair. You will not be speaking to the recruiters for a long time so you will need to treat every moment as an opportunity to impress, from the first second they meet you. If you are wearing jeans or shorts, then you will not be taken seriously as a candidate.
5. Have a Plan of Attack — You should do your best to talk to every company you can, but these kinds of fairs are known to be extremely crowded and you may not have enough time to get to everyone you want to. Make a list of your top 5 picks to see first. Try to talk to everyone if you can, but plan as if you can’t.
6. Follow Up — At the end of every conversation with a company make sure you get a business card or contact information from the recruiter. Once you get home send them an email or a message in LinkedIn that thanks them for taking the time to talk you, praising their company, and how you hope to hear from them soon. A hand written thank you note can go a long way to separate you from the other students. Take every opportunity to build a relationship with them, whether it is face-face, mail, or digital.