Preparing for Career Fairs

With summer coming to an end and school beginning, career fairs are right around the corner. Whether you attend career fairs as a requirement, for extra credit, or because it’s sounds good, they are extremely important tools for your job search.

Career Fairs were a huge part of my life in college because it is where I found three out of my four internships while attending the University of Cincinnati. I wanted to share a few tips with you that allowed me to feel prepared and confident when heading to a career fair:

·Know Your Stuff – Find the online directory of the career fair online, and research the companies you are interested in working for. Plan a route that you want to follow. The first company you speak with should be a company you have no interest in (to shake off the nerves).

·Resume – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen students walk up to a company representative at a career fair and not have copies of their resume. That gives a terrible first impression before even beginning your elevator pitch.

·Dress – Even if they say you can wear business casual… DON’T! Dress for the job you dream of not for the job you would settle for. Employers get excited when they see our generation take the time to dress up and look professional.

·Check-In – Make sure to grab a map, as well as double checking to make sure it appears the same way as it did online.

·Take Notes – Be engaged, ask questions, and take notes! Employers love when they see you taking notes on their company and being 100 percent engaged. They love when their time is valued.

·Respect the Free Stuff – When a recruiter offers you a stadium cup, a pen, or some other cool company swag, be sure to always take it. Some recruiters may take it as an insult if you say no.

Career Fairs will never go away, and people will always need to find a way to get noticed, besides browsing the internet to submit resumes. This is why it is important to be prepared and be confident walking into your next career fair.

By Kyle Kosco, Marketing Coordinator & Director of Internships