How to Master the Career Fair – 8 Tips
By Ohneice Miller, WSM Career Specialist
Career fairs provide the unique opportunity of meeting many employers directly. This is also a platform for employers to share information about their companies and to ask you general questions about your background and experience. Maximize your results while minimizing your efforts with these proven tips:
- Be prepared: Arrive professionally dressed and ready to interview. Know your professional summary and have copies of your resume, references, and a few interview questions ready.
- Get to the job fair early: Sometimes employers sign up to attend and it’s not announced. Arrive 30mins to an hour early and watch the employers while they are setting up. Write down the names of the organizations you would like to meet with. This will help you map out a strategy to navigate the fair strategically.
- Research: Google the companies you are interested in. Try and find the mission, vision and open positions that you may qualify for. This shows professionalism and a desire to be seen as a serious candidate. Take notes that you can refer back to for each company you want to meet with.
- Sell your skills: Have your 30-second elevator (professional summary) pitch ready along with a statement telling why the company made an impression on you. Most times a hiring manager will ask “why do you want to work for us?” or “What made you want to stop and speak with us today?” Shine and be the professional with a response. This will show you have done your research and are ready for the opportunities they can provide.
- Gather what you need to follow up: Collect hiring managers’ business cards and any additional information you can about each organization so that you may make contact and apply for the positions you’re interested in.
- Remain professional: Remember you are interviewing from the time you pull up to the fair until you are 2 blocks away from the event. Employers will wander off to get food or a drink a water and will not announce who they are. Don’t do or say anything that might affect your chances of being called for your formal interview. You may not remember their face, but they WILL remember yours.
- Have patience – The employers are meeting with a lot of candidates. Wait for your turn and listen to what the employer is saying so that they don’t have to keep repeating the same information when they meet with you. Stand out by being attentive.
- Shine and show how amazingly talented you are.