As a college student, finding that perfect Summer job or internship position comes into full swing once Fall hits as September usually marks the beginning of career fairs at several colleges and universities. Attending them is a very important step in ensuring you start off on the right foot of your career. College career fairs are essential if you want to meet potential employers and network with companies where you could see yourself fitting into. While it’s hard enough to balance schoolwork, not being properly prepared for career fairs could be harmful toward your long-term goals. Follow these 5 easy steps to ensure a successful job fair visit.
1. Pre-register for the event and research registered employers
The first thing all students should do is research when their campus career fair(s) takes place. If there is the option to pre-register for the event, it would be beneficial to do so, as employers would then be able to view your resume and other information provided before the fair occurs. This gives you a head start above the other candidates as the employers already have your name fresh in their mind. It is also important to learn about the companies that will be attending the event, through their website and social media, to have some background knowledge on each one and to be able to prioritize your time and pick which booths you aim to visit.
2. Bring copies of your resume and portfolio (if you have one)
Carry a folder with at least 10 copies of your professional resume to hand out to companies you are interested in. Providing a hard copy of your resume gives the recruiters something to look back on and refresh their memory with your credentials. A portfolio is an excellent resource to take with you, especially if you will be interviewing with companies and they ask for any additional information that could put you above the rest in the hiring process. Include your resume, references, and a few of your best work samples in the portfolio to showcase your experience and expertise.
3. Prepare and practice as if you are going to a professional interview
How are you going to sell yourself? Whether it be a short 30-second introduction or you’re asked to sit down and talk for 3-5 minutes with a representative, you need to have convincing, honest things to say about yourself and be able to explain how your job skills can greatly impact the position. Brainstorm some of your greatest professional and educational achievements which will allow the recruiters to learn a little about you and your abilities. Be prepared to sell yourself in under a minute, especially if the booth has a lot of visitors. Make yourself stand out.
4. Dress in appropriate business attire
Remember, the way you visually present yourself affects the way employers make their initial impressions. It is vital that you dress as if you were going to a real in-person interview as you may be engaging with several company representatives However, looking good will only get you so far, so remember that you still have to prove that you have what they are looking for!
5. Network, Network and Keep Networking!
Career fairs are the central event for college students to expand their networking communities. There are so many company recruiters and employees who want to help and see you succeed. Branch out and introduce yourself to teachers, companies and other eager students who are interested enough to come to the event because you never know who might be able to help you reach that dream job in the future. Students attending the job fair could be a great resource to connect with, they could come across a job posting that fits your interests and ultimately help you find your next job, so always be friendly! Also, ALWAYS follow up with recruiters who you spoke with at the fair. This will keep you fresh in their minds and show you are taking serious interest in the position. You never know how far networking and a follow-up can take you until you try!
If you’re interested in an internship or career at Primera, please visit our careers page at: primeraeng.com/careers.