Part 1: Career Fair Prep – Top 10 Tips

The end of my college career is near.  At this juncture, I’ve revised my resume, my CV, my online portfolio, my LinkedIn profile and my Facebook friends list, so obviously things are getting pretty serious. One of my latest career prep endeavors will be to attend a good old fashioned job fair this week. If you haven’t ever been to one, think of speed dating. You have a short amount of time to make a good impression; cover up the embarrassing parts of yourself and throw out all of your best moves in the hopes of attracting a suitor (employer).  In order to qualm a bit of your first (with about 30 plus suitors) “date” jitters, I will share the advice that I was given by several experts including people who own their own business and hire others regularly, and people who have attended several job fairs and know a thing or two about grabbing the attention of potential employers.

  1. Revise your resume and print as many as possible, there’s nothing worse than running out.
  2. Review all job fair info to find your favorite jobs and make a list starting with the job you desire the most to the ones you would be happy with as back-ups.
  3. Research the companies, especially the About Us and Products or Services area of their website.
  4. Look presentable but don’t let your outfit outshine you. This one is a bit hard for me as, my wardrobe is eclectic and I love to have a bit of flare in everything I wear.
  5. Talk to middle interest-level companies first to warm up, take a break to self-assess after the interaction, then return to speak with some of your first choices.
  6. Repeat step 5 again and again so you can improve each time.
  7. Connect and make each conversation personal. Each recruiter will appreciate it and remember you a bit better.
  8. Take notes! Don’t be afraid to write down info about the company that is shared with you.
  9. While you’re writing things down, remind yourself to get their contact info. Ask them for their business card, e-mail address or LinkedIn link so you can send follow-up thank you notes.
  10. Lastly, relax! If you’re stressed, just remember that you got this far because of hard work and being awesome. Now it’s your turn to show how awesome you are.

I will definitely heed this advice and I hope all who read this find it helpful. Add more advice in the comments section if I missed anything and wish me luck!

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