Career fairs might be one of the most important resources for students who are looking to get in front of companies and are seeking career/intern opportunities. Career fairs give students the chance to see what kind of opportunities are available and gives companies the opportunity to recruit interns for the summer.
According to NACE’s 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey, career fairs stand out as one of the most highly effective and widely-used techniques that
98% of employers
use to recruit. It is a free resource that allows students to find employers that are hiring, learn about different companies, and discover potential openings for both future internships and careers.
We want every student to get the most out of every career fair they attend. All students should be prepared, equipped and have complete confidence as soon as they hit the floor. Here are a few tips to ensure you are ready when the day comes to meet and engage with ideal companies.
Research the Companies
Research the companies that will be attending the career fair. Review their website or search Golden OpporTUnities to retrieve the description of each business. Just spending a little bit of time learning about each company will make a huge difference during your conversations with recruiters. It will enable you to ask specific questions and walk away with useful information. There’s a good chance you will even impress the recruiters as it shows that you took the time to research and learn about their company.
Dress to Impress
This is typically a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many students do not attend career fairs in the proper attire. Remember that this is going to be the first time many of these companies will see you and first impressions are important. In fact, research shows that
65% of employers
said that clothes could be the deciding factor between hiring two similar candidates. If you are unsure of what to wear, overdress or speak with a career specialist to find out what is appropriate.
Prepare What You’re Going to Say
Stand up straight, extend your hand, and speak with confidence. Remember that you need to be able to explain clearly who you are. You will (and should) have a copy of your resume, but you need to be able to communicate what is on your resume. Be ready to go over your career interests, why you’re interested in the company, and any questions you have. It helps to role-play this part of the career fair in order to gain confidence before actually doing it. The more time you practice and rehearse what you’re going to say, the easier it will be on the day of the job fair.
Stay in Contact
This is your opportunity to meet professionals in the industry that appeal to you. Networking and building relationships are absolutely crucial for students who are serious about entering the workforce after graduation with a company that is right for them. Be sure to request contact information and stay in touch with every company that grabbed your interest. Keeping in contact with these companies can open doors in the future and keep you top-of-mind for many recruiters.
Remember to Relax
It’s normal to be nervous, especially if it’s your first time to attend a career fair. But it’s important to remember that many of these recruiters were once in your shoes. They were students once and have done their fair share of career fairs. Relax, breathe, and take your time speaking with companies. If you took the time to prepare beforehand, you should have nothing to worry about.