Preparing for a Career Fair

Preparing for a Career Fair

 

Prepare Yourself:
1. Figure out what you want out of your Career Fair experience

Networking opportunity
Exploration of a variety of employers and jobs
Gathering information about future internship and job opportunities
First opportunity to practice interacting with a recruiter

2. Research the companies attending so you can learn something about them before standing in front of them - register on CSO Student so you can learn who is attending

3. Practice your "elevator speech" - your introduction to an employer

-Introduce yourself with your name and your major
-Offer some specific words of value for the employer - some characteristics that you think would be important to this employer
-Let the employer know how active you are on campus or if you are working to pay for your own education or if you're active in a lot of community service, etc.
-Let them know you appreciate their time and are interested in their company.  If there is a specific job posting ask them about it.  If not, ask them about your major interests to see if there is something within their organization that would fit your needs.
-This is a great example: "Hello, I'm Clyde Springs and I'm a junior chemistry major. I'm very outgoing and love to work with people and spend most of my free time creating campus involvement.  I'm eventually looking for something in pharmaceutical sales and am very happy you are here on campus as you are one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the state.  Since I won't graduate for another year, can you tell me what kind of applicants are the most successful with your company?"

Market Yourself:

-Have copies of your résumé prepared and ready to hand out.  Make sure you've had them checked for spelling errors and that they are printed on bonded paper (the Career Center has some if you need it).  Carry a folder or a portfolio to keep them nice.
-Dress appropriately - at the very least in business casual dress - but better in more professional dress.
-Make sure you're groomed - clean, pressed, non-scuffed shoes, not much make-up, no perfume or aftershave, hair neat and clean.
-Ask appropriate questions to increase your knowledge of the industry or company or both.
-Be mindful of the recruiter's time - don't expect to spend 20 minutes talking with him/her unless no one else is around at that time.  Be sure to thank him/her for their time.
-Broaden your connections by talking with a lot of different recruiters - you never know what each one has to offer or who they know.
-If you don't already have their card, ask for one so you can follow up.
-Follow up with an email or card and reiterate your interest and your qualifications.