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Student contribution: Career fair tips that work

Student engaging at a career fair in college

Yes, this is a post about the Fall Career and Internship Fair. But don’t panic, you have nothing to worry about. Follow my tips, do your research and relax — you got this.

Let’s start by talking about the recruiters. A recruiter’s job is to attract the best talent they can. They have a few tools to help them, like handouts, displays and their company’s reputation. However, recruiters spend most of their time preparing to teach you about their company and the type of people they want to hire. With this in mind, doing in-depth research on a company before talking to the recruiter is not make-or-break. In fact, asking questions about the company and its current events might allow you to have a meaningful conversation. I don’t suggest going in blind with zero knowledge of any company in the room. Spend time researching those you’re super interested in first, stockpile relevant info to ask the recruiter about, then use any time you have left to research the others.

When you’re at the fair, be your most natural self and treat recruiters with respect. Remember, they put a lot of work and money into preparation too. If you can show a recruiter what you have to offer as a professional and who you are as an individual, you will be unforgettable.

You’ll get extra points if you know what you want (even if it is just a general idea). If you know you like supply chain management but you want to work in the music industry, perfect. If you know you want to manage, but you don't know what or where, that’s fine too. Show that you’ve put some thought into your future and that you are taking steps to reach your goal.

The last and most important piece of advice I have for you is “know thyself.” Be ready to talk about yourself and your achievements. Rather than telling a company you are a strong leader, have a story in mind that will demonstrate the extent of your capabilities. The better you know yourself, the easier it will be to show the recruiters who you are.

Remember, there are more companies hiring than just the ones at this career fair. If you don’t feel like you click with anyone there  — don’t worry. There are other places that could offer exactly what you are looking for. Maybe your perfect fit will be at the University-Wide End-of-Year Career Fair in the spring.

Once you’ve gone over all my tips, make sure you have everything on my “must-haves” list, below, before you head to the fair.

 Career fair must-haves:

Must not have: drinks, food, large bags, binders, skateboard or anything that could get in the way. It gets crowded, and you won’t want to have a lot of extra baggage.

Let us know if you have other questions and how the job fair goes for you by sending us a message. Happy job hunting! 

Post contributor: Aubrey Durham


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