Five Tips For Nailing Your Next Career Fair

You’re almost there! The finish line is getting closer and closer and graduation is on the horizon. It’s exciting and you’re already looking forward to putting your degree to good use. You know what you want and how to get it, but looking for a job is daunting. Don’t worry, though! You’re in the same boat as most people. Getting a job is no cakewalk, but we’ve lined up a few insights to help you out. One of the best resources you’ve got is when companies come to your campus looking to hire new grads. That’s right, we’re talking about career fairs. They’re a great opportunity to get yourself out there and start the job search! To find out our top 5 tips for nailing your next career fair, keep reading.

P.S.: Even if you’re not about to graduate, go to the career fair anyway. It never hurts to introduce yourself and make contacts in companies that intrigue you. The people you meet now might be valuable to you in the not-so-distant future.

Spiff up your resume

Not to sound like your parents, but your resume is important. It highlights your skills and reinforces why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Before you attend the career fair, go to a resume workshop provided by your career services. There’s nothing college recruiters love more than a streamlined resume. After it’s all set, print out several copies and store them in a folder so they’re fresh for the fair.

Have a gameplan

Think about what you want to get out of the career fair before you go. You don’t need to know what your dream job is, but think about which skills you want to use on a daily basis. Maybe you have a major in international business and minor in creative writing. How can you combine your interest in both and use the skills you’ve learned in a future job? Think about what that job would look like and how to describe it to a recruiter.

Know your talking points

Before the career fair, prepare a short intro about yourself. You want it to be professional without isolating your personality. Don’t try to cram your life story and relevant skills into a 30-second elevator pitch. Say a bit about your background and interests, but let the conversation flow on its own. A recruiter might ask, “Why do you think you’re a good fit for this career?” Remember to show, not tell with a few anecdotes to reinforce the skills on your resume.

Pick your top three

Before you attend the career fair, find out which companies will be there. You only have a limited amount of time to make an impression, so do your research. This will help you clarify which companies you’re most interested in. Pick your top three and look at the roles they’re hiring for. Choose a role from each company and create a unique resume for each one. Adjust each resume to showcase your experience and skills relevant to that specific role.

Follow up

After you talk to someone at a company you’re interested in, make sure to grab a business card as you leave. Wait a few days, then send a follow-up email. Keep it short and sweet: Thank him or her for talking with you and reiterate your interest in the position. This shows your tenacity and makes you more memorable in the future.

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