Steps to follow when attending a career fair
BY MELANIE LINDLOFF — MARKETING COORDINATOR
Attending your college’s career fair is not just a chance for you to collect brochures, business cards and promo items, but an opportunity for you to do some valuable networking and leave an important first impression with business contacts. The following steps will help you get more out of your career fair experience.
Step 1 – First things first, dress appropriately. A first impression is crucial at a career fair and may be all that an employer remembers you by afterwards; you want it to be a good one. Being well groomed and dressed nicely will set you off on the right foot. If you have class before the fair, take time to go home and change into more professional attire.
Step 2 – Show enthusiasm. Besides being dressed for success, a firm handshake, smile and enthusiasm will help set you apart. If you speak confidently about your strengths, skills and experience, you will get the employer excited to learn more about you as well.
Step 3 – Be prepared. It’s ok to ask questions but the career fair is a good time for the employer to learn about you. If you have interest in working for a company that will be attending the fair, make sure that you have spent time researching their business ahead of time. Doing so will help you be prepared to ask questions that will give you more insight of what it might be like to work there. You do not want to spend your brief amount of time asking questions that you can find the answer to on their website.
Step 4 – Make sure to bring plenty of copies of your resume. Even if you don’t have a lot of work experience to include, a resume that shows your skills, prior internships, school or community involvement, and volunteer work is a great piece of collateral to leave with the recruiters. This also gives the employer a chance to jot down some quick notes about you so they can recall the conversation at a later time.
Step 5 – Follow up. If you are sincerely interested about working for a company, don’t wait for them to contact you after a career fair. It is ok to be diligent about following up. You may want to email the recruiters and mention the fair that you saw them at (most recruiters are attending more than one career fair) and any specific details that might help them remember you. It would be appropriate to attach your resume to the email as well.
Have fun attending your career fair and make sure to visit our careers page for future tips.