With the upcoming All University and STEM Career Fairs, hundreds of unique employers will be on campus over the course of four days so appropriate preparation is key. Here are five tips to approaching career fairs that will help you have a successful experience!
Do Your Research
Different employers will be attending the career fairs each day, so look through all the companies attending and do some basic research. Learn about the companies – their locations, what kind of jobs they are recruiting for, and the level of education they require. Also make note of which days they will be attending the career fairs – you don’t want to show up for a specific company on the wrong day!
Once you’ve decided which companies you want to talk with, further your knowledge about them. You’ll be able to ask the representatives questions about the company, but already having a basic understanding will allow you to ask deeper questions and demonstrate that you are well prepared.
Have a Game Plan
With hundreds of companies attending the career fair, it’s important to strategically prioritize the companies you want to talk with. Note sure where to start? Ask yourself which companies best align with your skills and experience.
Remember to also schedule plenty of time into your calendar to stop by the companies’ booths. Don’t forget to leave yourself time to register, print your name tag, store your coat and bag, and then talk with the representatives.
Develop and Practice Your Elevator Speech
Prepare a 1-2 minute well-focused speech about yourself that demonstrates your general background, leadership qualities, relevant skills and passions, and what you can bring to the organization. You want to leave a positive lasting impression that will help you stand out in a good way.
However, it doesn’t end there! The best way to sound confident in your delivery is to practice – recite your elevator speech to yourself, in the mirror, with your roommates or a mentor. Sounding well prepared and having proper etiquette when engaging with employers is key.
Prepare your Clothes and Resume
Pick out and iron your clothes a few days in advance! You don’t want to be scrambling to pick out an outfit the night before only to accidentally leave a burn mark on your one dress shirt from the iron being too hot or discover there’s a stain on it.
Print at least 20 copies of your resume – you will need one for each company you have prioritized plus plenty of extras in case you discover an interesting employer at the fair. Hand out your resume to the recruiters in the beginning so you can reference it as you’re delivering your elevator speech.’
Now that you are prepared, take a deep breath and relax! Eat a good meal, get plenty of sleep the night before, and most importantly stay calm knowing that you have done your best to prepare for success at the career fair! It’s normal to be a bit nervous, but greet the representatives with a firm handshake and everything else will follow.