5 Tips for a Successful Career Fair
Today I attended my second career fair, and I feel a ton better than how I felt last year after talking to all the big-dog company recruiters. It can be kind of scary to talk to all those big companies your freshman year, but hey, we are all human! They aren't that different than you and me. Although I will admit, saying "Hi, my name is Sheradan and I am currently a sophomore." was way more fun than declaring my freshman status.
Get ready to take on those recruiters; here are five tips for having a successful career fair!
1. Do your research. This may be the most important advice I give you in this post. Research the company; what do they do, who do they work for, what is their mission statement? Research their open positions; do they offer internships, are they hiring, what are they looking for? Approaching a recruiter with questions solely about the company may not impress them. Try to show your knowledge about the company and tell them why you are interested in what they do.
2. Perfect your resume.
Seriously, stare at it for hours. Stare at it until the words start blurring together. (Okay, maybe I am just a little crazy.) While you may be speaking face-to-face with someone, your resume is truly your selling point; it is a brief summary of who you are. It is crucial that you have an accurate representation of your experience, education and involvement. Plus, it makes it easier for them to place you into a position that is beneficial for you both.
3. Dress to impress.
Like it or not, first impressions matter. Like I've already said, we are all human, and we will judge what we see. If you look professional, it looks like you are serious about finding an internship or job. Also, a nice name tag and pad-folio are great touches.
4. Practice what you want to say.
Obviously your conversations will vary from booth to booth, but you should have a general idea of what you want to say. I like to introduce myself by saying my name, major and year in school. This automatically gives them an idea of what you are looking for. Then, tell them a little more about yourself, why you are interested in their company and end with a question regarding your interests. Be conversational! If you practice, it will make it easier when the time comes.
5. Be confident!
It is completely okay to feel nervous, but when speaking to a recruiter it is important to show you are confident in yourself. By following the four previous steps, finding self-confidence may become easier. You shouldn't have to convince yourself that you are the right candidate for the position. You are supposed to be convincing the company's representative, not your inner demons. So, make eye contact, give a sturdy handshake and let yourself shine!
Hopefully these five simple tips will help you nail your next career fair! What is your dream job? Tell me in the comments below!