Career fairs are a great resource for college students and recent grads looking to expand their professional network. Your future is important, so don’t wing this opportunity! Make sure you show up prepared with these five simple steps.
1. Get your resume critiqued.
A flawless resume is a must. It’s important to have more than one set of eyes proofread your resume and offer suggestions. Schedule an appointment with your university’s Career Services and get it critiqued, then make sure to print out a bunch of copies for the fair.
2. Practice your elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a brief summary of who you are and why you’re the ideal candidate. You’ll be spilling this 30-second pitch every time you introduce yourself to a new recruiter, so make sure you know it like the back of your hand!
3. Research the employers.
It helps knowing which companies will have representatives at the job fair so you can come up with a plan of action. You only have so much time while you’re there, so don’t waste it at a booth you have no interest in!
Understanding a thing or two about the companies will also help you come up with talking points for each employer you meet. It’s important knowing why you’re the perfect candidate before you’re in front of the employer, so you won’t get stuck fumbling for a response on the spot!
4. Come up with questions.
Just like with regular job interviews, you should always have a solid set of questions in your back pocket. This is a great time to ask about the company culture, what traits their ideal candidates possess, or anything else that’ll help you see if it’s a match made in career heaven. Just make sure the answers can’t be found on the company website—they’ll expect that you’ve done your research!
5. Plan your attire.
A sharp image makes a big difference. Plan an outfit that’s acceptable for a business setting, and make sure to get those wrinkles out! This means no jeans, T-shirts, or sneakers. While you’re at it—simple steps like making sure your hair is combed, avoiding harsh perfumes and popping a breath mint help, too.