The career fair is not intended for you to get a job. It’s intended for you to connect with and learn about Employers who may or may not have opportunities available. Many employers have indicated that the career fair is simply a venue to continue and establish their on-campus presence. They use career fairs to create brand awareness and establish an on-campus presence. For you the career fair is an opportunity to connect with real people who work for a firm of interest rather than simply going to the website. The career fair is your opportunity to make a connection and hopefully gain a strategic advantage by connecting with a live body. It is also an excellent opportunity for you to display a preview of your brand to your potential customers. Employers have an opportunity to connect your resume and your face.
Be prepared to tell the employer what you are seeking and what you have to offer. Some schools refer to this as a 30 second commercial. It’s a mini speech where you are able to give a quick overview of who you are, what you have to offer, and what you desire from the respective company. Employers are very annoyed with students who say statements such as “What kind of jobs do you offer?”. They are typically more receptive to students who have a sense of who they are and what they do. It’s important that you not only assess yourself and your career goals, but it is also crucial that you do a bit of research on companies of interest prior to the career fair.
Create a target list of approximately 20 companies. Do a bit of research determine how you will best fit and approach those companies first, particularly if you are pressed for time. One of my students created index cards with questions that he felt were relevant to companies of interest. It helped minimize nervous and anxiety and he was able to tailor his conversation to representatives of the respective organization.
Prepare for your career fair so that you are able to articulate and convey who you are and what you have to offer. REMEMBER it is always a great sign of professionalism when you WEAR a SUIT.