On many occasions you have probably thought to yourself, “If I could just get in front of the hiring manager, then I’ll be able to land that job interview.” This seems to be one primary obstacle applicants encounter due to the prominence of online job boards and increased competition. So how you do overcome this obstacle? In addition to a superb résumé, one of the best ways to land an interview is by attending a career fair. The following tips will help you leverage the benefits of a career fair.
- Arrive 10 minutes early with a firm handshake and smile in tow.
- Prepare questions for the employer.
What qualities are you looking for in a candidate?
Why did you choose to work for this organization?
What positions do you offer?
- Review the organization’s mission, achievements, and current initiatives BEFORE you speak to the recruiter.
- Have a purpose to your actions, rather than visiting every booth. Select the employers with whom you wish to engage prior to the event.
- Take a polished résumé for each employer you hope to meet, plus a few extra.
- Be sure to leave your belongings at home (e.g., pursue & backpack). Use a hardcover portfolio or folder to carry your documents.
- Dress like you would for an interview- suits or blazers are encouraged. Make sure your attire is looking sharp, yet conservative and subtle.
- Avoid strong perfumes or colognes.
- Never ask for a job. Only seek advice or information regarding the company.
- Prepare a 30-second commercial to introduce yourself.
My name is…
I am majoring in…
Some of my experiences include…
I am looking for a position/company where I can…
I would be an asset to your company because…
- Collect business cards for follow-up communication.
- Within a few days, write a thank you letter to those you are genuinely interested in working for and refer back to your conversation at the career fair.
With these simple steps, you can set yourself apart from the crowd and truly be noticed by employers. Remember this is your chance to set a memorable first impression.
We encourage you to apply this advice during COBA Career Days and our annual Fall Career Fair on September 28, 2011. Please visit our homepage for additional event details!
By Joey Battelline
Graduate Assistant in the Career Center