I had a great experience at the Career Expo; I think I can help you have one too in the future!
The Career Expo is an excellent opportunity to network and take the next step from education to the professional world. To start there were numerous employers and graduate schools at the event. From healthcare to finance to medical schools; this truly was a diverse grouping of employers/ educators.
What did I take away from the event? These employers want Missouri State University students. As I walked up and down the aisles, I was frequently pulled aside by companies asking what I was looking for and what I wanted to do with my life. Often my major was not what they were looking for, but they would not leave me empty handed. Some of the employers referred me to other tables that were looking for people with my particular skill set, and some even connected me with colleagues of theirs that were not in attendance at the expo.
My advice to anyone attending the fairs in the future:
- Dress professionally. First impressions are crucial to the process of gaining an interview. Before the employer sees your resume, they are looking at you first. You will also be surprised at the amount of confidence you can muster when you are dressed for success.
- Be polite to everyone. The goal of the expo is for students to find careers, but it’s a two way street. These employers are looking for driven college educated individuals, which just so happens to be you! Some employers may start a dialogue with you. If you are not interested in the company the employer is representing do not just walk away, be polite and discuss with them what they are looking for. It can be difficult to walk across a burned bridge.
- Do your research beforehand. To save time from aimlessly wandering, it is best to research the firms you are interested in working with before the expo. This will not only give you an itinerary of firms to talk with, but will also give you talking points when speaking with the representative. These recruiters are meeting students all day! Displaying that you have pre-existing knowledge of the industry and the company are an excellent way to stand out.
- Read revise repeat. After you have left the fair, the longest impression these recruiters will have is your résumé. If your résumé has errors, you can kiss the interview and dream job good-bye. Luckily, MSU’s Career Center has multiple résumé madness events which can help you craft the perfect résumé.
- Be yourself. This may be my most important piece of advice yet. A bit of nervous energy is good, but take deep breaths and be yourself. This is exciting! You have worked four or more years to achieve the credentials these recruiters are looking for. Relax, be confident, and be yourself. You are a Missouri State University student and that is exactly what these employers are looking for! – Garrett Nevels, MBA graduate student