How to Best Prepare for the Non-Profit & Service Career Fair! 

Careers for the Common Good is excited to announce the 2020 Non-Profit and Service Career Fair on February 28th, from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. The Career Fair is a wonderful opportunity for students to engage with over 75 non-profits, social enterprises and benefit corporations offering employment, internship, and service opportunities. This is your chance to network with employers and discover new ways to make an impact on your profession. Here are four steps you can take to be prepared for this year’s upcoming Non-Profit and Service Career Fair. 

Step One: Research  

Like any other career fair, it is important to always learn about who will be in attendance. In order to see this list of employers, you can go onto Handshake.com, log in with your account information, click on “events” -> Fair Search -> UConn Non-Profit and Service Career Fair -> All Employers. A list will show all the employers who are registered for the event and allows you to choose which would be the best fit for you! You will create a realistic and prioritized list of the companies you want to talk to and by doing this, you don’t have to waste precious time wandering around and deciding who to start a conversation with. Never plan to attend a career fair with the intention to talk to every company present in one day.  

Specifically, for Non-Profit and Services Career fairs, attending an industry-specific job fair requires more research as some companies may be very similar. Look up the company, decide your best fit and move one to step two.  

Step Two: Prepare!    

There are two components of job fair materials; your resume and an elevator pitch. Your resume is one of the most important documents in your professional career. Make sure you put the time and effort into making this one piece of paper the best that it can be. Typically, you should create a customized resume tailored for each individual job, but when you are attending a job fair, your resume needs are different. Feel comfortable to make specialized resumes for each company, but also do not be afraid to make an industry-specific resume in which you can share with all companies. You can research keywords relevant to your industry and the types of roles you’re interested in and draw from those. 

Utilize the Center for Career Development resources like our one-on-one resume critique sessions with one of our trained staff in order to make sure your resume is well-written, formatted, and free of errors. Log on to Handshake to make your appointment today!  

The next component is preparing your elevator pitch. This is a short speech—30 seconds or fewer, or about the length of an elevator ride—in which you tell someone who you are and what you are all about. This can include notable accomplishments, essential skills, interest, professional goals, etc. Keep in mind that this is not a memoir, it is an ice breaker that leads into a conversation – be engaging but not bragging. Just try to make the best impression so you become memorable for the employer.   

Step Three: Practice, Practice, Practice  

The only way you become comfortable with something is by practicing it enough times that it becomes second nature! Practice, revise, and accept feedback for your elevator pitch. Do not try to memorize an exact script—just get comfortable with the points you want to cover. After you master this, everything becomes a breeze. Know where you’re going the day of, look at the layout of the fair, and not only practice your elevator pitch but the confidence you wish to display.  

Step Four: Execute  

It’s Show Time! Make sure to bring several copies of your resume and most importantly, be confident in yourself and your abilities; you have done everything you can to be the best of the best. It is your time to shine, see you there!

By Ashley Andino
Ashley Andino Ashley Andino