6 Tips for Students to Successfully Maneuver a Career Fair
BY JANE HURST
Career fairs are a great way for you to find out what is available to you when you decide to join the work force. There are representatives from many companies on site to answer any questions you may have about a job you are interested in. Career fairs also offer the opportunity to explore many other jobs you may not have considered. But before you go wading into the work pool, consider the following tips to help you make connections and get a good job.
- Find out what companies will be at the fair
There is usually a list of what companies will be sending representatives to the career fair. When you get the list, look it over and mark what companies interest you. Look them up on line and do some research. Know what the companies stand for and what they may be looking for in an employee.
- Suit up
First impressions are very important, so you do not want to go to the career fair looking like you just woke up. Wear a suit, or dress pants and a dress shirt or skirt. Wearing a suit will help you feel more confident and will show your future employer that you care about their impressions of you. Your confidence will shine through when you speak to representatives.
Practice what you will say to your future employer. Practice your handshake. A firm handshake will send a strong signal to the representatives. Practice with your parents or friends. Know what you want to highlight about yourself and make sure it is concise and accurate.
- Turn off your phone
People want to feel like they matter. These recruiters are at this fair to offer jobs for teens. They do not want to feel like their time is being wasted. A recruiter will think less of you if you keep checking your phone. They are not just paying attention to the person they are talking to. They will also be looking at the next person in line to see how they are handling the pressure of waiting their turn. You cannot make eye contact with a representative if your face is in your phone.
- Find your representatives
When you get to the fair, make sure you know where your prime representatives are located. Go and talk to them. Shake hands and tell them about yourself. Answer any questions they may have, and then be sure to get their business card. Do not discuss salary. Tell them, instead, how you will fit into their company. Let them know you have done your homework by asking them pointed questions about their company. The next day, write them a thank you email. Let them know you enjoyed meeting them and look forward to hearing from them.
- Look elsewhere
After you have targeted your first picks, look around the fair. There may be a business that you skipped over the first time that looks interesting. Be sure to stop by other booths and talk to more companies. The more you get your name out, the more networking you are accomplishing. And, one of the key steps to getting a job is networking.
If you take the time to prepare for a career fair, you will have many opportunities to network and get hired. Walk proudly and confidently. Talk to your representative and get to know them. Once you have gotten done with the fair, do not forget to write a quick note to all of the representatives you spoke to. The representatives will appreciate that you took the time to write to them and will be more likely to recommend your hiring.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.