What you should bring to the Career Fair

With over 160 employers on campus Thursday, October 2nd for the University Fall Career Fair, you may be asking yourself what you should bring with you.  See the list below for the top five items recommended to bring to any career fair.

  1. Copies of your résumé: Bring multiple copies of your résumé.  After conducting research to determine the companies you want to connect with, make sure you have a résumé for each of those companies and a few extra in case you meet someone unexpected.  Some companies have been trending toward not accepting paper copies in lieu of having you apply on-line, but other organizations still welcome hard copies.
  2. Your 30 second elevator pitch:  A 30 second elevator pitch is your chance to describe yourself in a relevant way, to a specific audience; in this case, a potential employer. You will have prepared beforehand and have rehearsed or practiced.  When you introduce yourself to the employer and hand your résumé to them, you need to be prepared to expand a bit on your accomplishments and provide the recruiter with the most important and relevant information about yourself.  “My name is Jonathan Husky, I’m a Senior English major and just completed a great internship at XYZ company where I was responsible for editing the company newsletter, writing blogs, and maintaining the company’s Facebook account.  I have also taken some courses related to digital media and am very interested in website design and social media management.  I’d like to talk about possible opportunities available at your company related to writing and/or social media”.
  3. A good first impression:  This includes both attitude and attire.  First impressions are very important and do leave a lasting impression on those you meet.  In addition to dressing professionally , you want to make sure you bring your positive attitude, a firm handshake and a smile to all of those your meet.
  4. A portfolio or folder, paper and pen:  Having something that keeps all of your materials organized is very important. You’ll need this to hold your résumés and the materials you pick up from the employers you are interested in.  In addition to getting company brochures, you should ask for business cards from all the representatives you speak with.
  5. Notes from research:  Something else that you should include in your portfolio is important notes or questions about the companies you researched.  You can refer to this information prior to introducing yourself to a company representative and if it is relevant to your discussion, you might even be able to make reference to this information during your conversation.  This will show the company representative that you did some research and are really interested in them.

To learn more about what to do to prepare for the Career Fair attend Navigating the Career Fair Presented by Altria, Monday, September 29th, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. in HBL, Class of ’47 room.

By Nancy Bilmes