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Rocking the Career Fair

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					Rocking the Career Fair

The career fair is a great opportunity to meet with different companies, find job leads, and build your
network. You need to understand how to present yourself and make the most of these events. Here
are a few tips.

Before The Fair

                                                         Your preparation should begin before you
                                                         arrive at the career fair. The first thing that you
                                                         need to do is identify your goal. What do you
                                                         hope to accomplish at the fair? Are you looking
                                                         for an internship, a job, or to network? Perhaps
                                                         it is all three, but knowing exactly why you are
                                                         going will help you determine how to best
                                                         prepare.

                                                         As the fair gets closer review the list of
                                                         companies that will be attending and identify
the ones that you would like to speak with. Place them in three priority groups; those you must talk
with, those you would like to talk with, and those who you will talk with in your extra time. This will
save you time at the fair as you know exactly where you are going.

Prepare your pitch. Know what it is you are going to say and what you would like to ask. Do background
research on the most important companies and write down notes to bring with you to the fair. Before
you speak with a company look at your notes so you are able to make better use of your time instead of
asking ignorant questions like what the company does.

Make sure to dress the part. Look professional and hirable. Some students wander through the fair
dressed casually talking to companies. This actually may have negative repercussions because the first
impression they give to recruiters is that they are lazy and unprepared. You need to make a good
impression so they look through your resume afterwards.

At The Fair

Pull out your list of companies and make your way
through the fair in the order you have prepared
previously. Approach each company warmly with a
firm handshake. Be friendly and listen to the
recruiter so you can best explain how you can solve
the company’s issues. Often you have to wait in line
to speak to company contacts. Listen to the
conversations ahead of you while you wait to gather in background information that will help you in
your turn.

Listen to each person you speak with even if you are not interested. Don’t burn bridges before they are
even built. Perhaps one of these contacts will be useful in the future as you look for other jobs. Take
notes of what the individuals talk about. Make sure you have the contact for the area you are
interested in. Often the needed contact is not the recruiter but the head of another department so
make sure to ask. Give out your resume. Underline your contact information your graduation date and
write a note about what you discussed to help the recruiter remember you.

After The Fair

                                             Make contact with the individuals you spoke with. Reach
                                             out through email, LinkedIn, or even a phone call. Thank
                                             them for the time they took in speaking with you and ask
                                             them to keep you updated in job opportunities. Organize
                                             the notes you took and record the information so it
                                             accessible in the future. The career fair is your time to
                                             shine. Regardless of if you are from a college in St George,
                                             New York, or Florida now is your time represent your
                                             school and yourself and find the job you are looking for.

Photo Credit: Lafayette College, Ludovic Bertron, Jon Ashcroft

				
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posted:11/5/2013
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