With undergraduates and graduates returning back to school, career fairs will start to occur at numerous universities and colleges. Whether you’re a freshman, a senior or a graduate student, career fairs are the perfect opportunity to help find yourself the right internship and/or job. As every student likely wants to make the best impression possible, here are some tips on how to do just that.
Dress the Part
The first and most important thing when attending a career fair is to look presentable while there. If you’re dressed nicely, put together and professionally, companies will take notice. The same will go if you’re dressed down and wearing sweatpants or any unprofessional clothing. If you look like you don’t care, prospective employers will think just that. By no means do you have to wear your finest clothing, but putting together a nice outfit can only help when attending a career fair. If the career fair is happening during your classes, dress ahead of time so you can just pop over to the career fair once you’re finished with classes for the day or have a break in between. Along with making sure you have the right outfit, you’ll also want to have the right beauty look to go with it. By no means should you go heavy on the makeup. When in a professional setting, many find that less is more. Applying an everyday beauty look to go along with your outfit will make you feel as confident as ever. If your hair is in need of a refresh before the career fair, use a hair mask or revive with a high-quality hair color that will give you head-turning locks.
Be Open to Every Company That’s There
While you may have a field of interest in mind of what you’d like your career to be in, it’s most beneficial to be open to all the opportunities presented to you at a career fair. Whether it’s finance, marketing, engineering, etc., the kinds of jobs available are endless. Even if you see a table that may not be in your exact area of expertise, stop by to check it out anyway and see what kind of opportunities are available. You never know what you might come across or what might pique your interest.
When attending a career fair, it’s only natural to engage in conversation with any table you approach. In order to make sure you make the best impression possible, it’s helpful to be prepared ahead of time. Not only do you want to make sure you have a handful of copies of your perfected resume but you also want to make sure you’re prepared to answer any questions that may come your way and have perfected your elevator pitch, otherwise known as your career pitch. “What kind of past work experience do you have?”, “Why would you want to work for a company like this?”, and “Are you interested in relocating?” are only some of the questions that will likely be asked at a career fair. Having prepared answers and a career pitch stating some of your biggest strengths will only help and show your potential employer that you’ve thought seriously about your future.
Following-up is one of the most important and often most forgotten things to do after attending a career fair. Following-up with recruiters or the companies you’re interested in is an amazing way to show your professionalism, your interest and to ensure they keep you in mind for any future openings. After each table you attend, make sure you get contact info in the form of a business card, phone number or email of the company and/or direct recruiter as this will make following-up incredibly easy. Sending a note or an email thanking them for the time they spent talking to you will be much appreciated and will give you an edge that will be hard for others to beat.