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Career Fair: Taking Advantage When You’re There!
We hope that after reading last Monday’s article you feel prepared for a career fair. Today, we’ll help you learn about what to do when you’re at the fair and how to take the greatest advantage of all the resources these events offer!
- Open Mind: You will likely have already generated a list of potential employers you are interested in speaking with. However, we encourage you to maintain an open mind! You never know which company may surprise you or offer a different position than what you’ve expected. If you see a company that piques your interest, head over!
- Solidify Your Elevator Pitch: Only once your elevator pitch is perfected should you enter the fair and speak with employers. Many universities even provide their students with a room in the fair where advisors are waiting to help! Stop in and practice your pitch with a staff member.
- Memorize a Few Back-Up Questions: While you probably won’t run into an awkward silence, prepare a few backup questions to ask employers if the conversation is running short.
- Example Questions:
- How did you become interested in X Company?
- How did you find out about X Company?
- What is your favorite part about working for X Company?
- What does X Company do that makes them stand out in [the industry]?
- Example Questions:
- Start Random: By “random,” we are referring to a relatively lower stakes company which you may not be as interested in. Speaking with these organizations will help you calm your nerves and get into your groove, without feeling the same intimidation that you may with one of your most desired companies.
- Extra Note: For companies offering positions you are not yet eligible for: Still speak to them! Even though you may only be able to apply in future years, there is nothing wrong with getting your foot in the door as early as possible. This will almost guarantee you an advantage come the time you are able to apply!
- Take Notes, Jot Names Down: Make sure to maintain eye contact, but also feel free to take notes, especially when you are provided specific names or contacts. It’s easy to feel like you’ll remember everything, but with all of the people you talk to, it’s likely you may forget an email here and there. Remember, you brought your padfolio for a reason, use it!
- Don’t Over-Invest: Make sure to understand that change may occur, and certain positions that appeared offered may no longer be. In the same way we hope you keep an open mind, we encourage flexibility during the fair so as to not become upset upon unforeseen circumstances.
- Accept a Give-Away If Offered: Most employees come with some type of gift. Whether this is a gadget with the company logo imprinted on it, a piece of candy or food, or a sample of one of their products, make sure to accept with excitement when offered. This is a great way for you to show extra interest in their company and products.
- Manners: Be extra conscious of the way you are representing yourself and your school! Maintain a positive energy, make eye contact, smile, shake hands, wait politely, stand up straight, don’t interrupt, and always thank the employer for their time. One of the easiest ways to nail a first impression is by being likable!
- Extra Note: If you are provided a business card, name, or email, send a thank you follow-up as soon as possible. This will not only help you exhibit gratitude but is a great way to help remind the employer of who you are.
With all of these tips… you are absolutely ready to rock your career fair and land a new position!
Missed last weeks blog? Learn how to prepare for the career fair here!
Searching for a new position? Check out our open jobs list!