Career fairs are a great opportunity for college students to explore potential career paths and network with local business leaders and hiring managers. While attending a career fair can be an important step in your job search, it’s only as useful as you make it.
Check out these tips for making the most of your next career fair:
1. Do your homework
Company representatives meet with a lot of students at career fairs, and a good way to stand out is by researching the companies you’re interested in beforehand.
When you ask questions about the company, you don’t want to ask questions you could find the answers to on their website. Crafting tailor-made questions for a company can show that you have a genuine interest in working with them in the future.
Another way to get a head start is to customize your resume to highlight things that each company finds important. This could be a simple as an introductory statement at the top of the resume specific to your qualifications as they relate to that company. Having a unique resume for each company that you plan to visit can help you stand out.
2. Be mindful of your etiquette
Dressing professionally is an important part of your first impression at a career fair. This will likely be the first time meeting with someone from the company, and even though it’s a different setting than a job interview, it’s still appropriate to dress and behave in a similar way.
This doesn’t only apply to the dress code, either. The way you interact with a company representative can make or break your chances of getting an actual interview. Be sure to maintain eye contact and introduce yourself with a firm handshake.
Also, ask for business cards from the companies you visit so you can be in contact with them later, which leads to our next tip…
3. Don’t forget the follow-up
You’ve established yourself as a viable candidate at the career fair, so now what?
If you collected business cards, you’ll have an email address for each person you’ve met to follow-up. Establishing communication soon after the career fair will indicate your interest and give you a chance to express why you think you would be a good fit for the company. Be sure to thank the representative you met for taking the time to speak with you.
Standing out is the name of the game when it comes to career fairs. These tips can help you make a lasting, positive impression and increase your chances of finding your next job opportunity!