Fall is here and it “Career Fair Season” is in full swing, therefore it is time to start preparing for this essential part of your job search plan. These events are not only a great opportunity for you to seek out your career opportunities, but they also allow for companies to screen a large number of candidates.
The key to a successful career fair is to stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting, positive impression.
Follow these ten tips to work those career fairs to make sure your efforts work for you!
1. Preregister for career fairs and research the companies attending to determine the ones you are most interested in.
2. Strengthen your interview skills, developing answers to basic interview questions and practicing with mock interviews.
3. Dust off your resume and portfolio; making sure it is perfectly polished. Be sure to bring several clean copies of your standard resume with you to pass out to potential employers.
4. Create an informative, professional, and memorable “elevator speech”. This is how you will introduce yourself to employers and how they will remember.
5. Bring a friendly smile, firm handshake, and direct eye contact when networking.
6. Use your time wisely! Develop a plan of action to interview with the companies you are most interested in first to ensure you are fresh, focused, and energetic.
7. Collect business cards and take thorough notes, in order to ease the follow up process after the event. Bring a business card organizer, small notebook, and pen to make this easier.
8. Don’t spend too much time with one employer. Not only is your time limited, but so is theirs. Once you have gathered their information, delivered your pitch, and asked a few questions, offer to follow up with them after the fair.
9. Don’t forget to follow up with all the new contacts in your professional network. Send thank you notes to the recruiters you met, showing your gratitude for their time as well as highlighting the qualifications you possess and how they can contribute to the organization’s success.
10. Take advantage of any other resources offered at the fairs. Many offer workshops led by professionals with tips to accelerate your job search.
With these tips you are ready to work the next career fair you attend! If you are in the Lafayette area, check out Danielle’s Resume Building Workshop at the LAGCOE Career Fair at 9:30am on October 29th. She will also be providing FREE resume critiques from 10:30am to Noon.