Career Fair Prep Mistake #1

Filters. We love filters. Don’t let filters make you sad, though. Let me paint a scene for you that might sound familiar:

Maybe you heard about the upcoming Career Fairs, your roommate is going, a couple people from your stats class are going. These people though, they have their act together, I mean there are probably so many companies looking for their major. Your roommate even had an internship their freshman year and you just can’t compete at all. Ok maybe, you should go. Just check it out. Ehhh, maybe not. Better check Handshake and see the employers that are going to be there. It’s probably all for business majors though.

Ah here we go. Ok wow, there are a lot of companies. Yikes. Oh! Filters! Let’s see….. yup, looking for an internship…….151….. skip down to major…… check…. Wait. ONE? ONE internship opportunity for my major?? Forget it.

And the weight is lifted.

Don’t do this to yourself. You are way smarter than this because deep down you know that out of the hundreds of employers paying to come to these career fairs that there is more than one opportunity. And you are absolutely right. This majors filter can do way more harm than good. Here’s the thing- when an employer registers for the career fair, they have to fill out all sorts of things including a questionnaire asking what majors they are looking for. Many (most) of them who are open to many or all majors just don’t check a box. This means that these employers will not appear in your search if you select your major.

If you must use a filter, start with Industry filter, but again….. if the employer skipped that step, they are invisible to you. Also, make sure you always select “Other Industries” in here. Just know that the reality is that there are many, many employers that are not concerned with what your major is. Keep in mind that the Career Fair is really just one component of the job and internship search process. It’s always going to be worth your time to meet with a Career Consultant who can help you navigate the entire search process and make your career fair experience easier, more enjoyable, and yield real results.

 

By Eran Peterson
Eran Peterson Career Consultant, School of Engineering Eran Peterson