Written by Christina B, English ’18 and Berenice P, Psychology ’20
If you’re thinking about attending a Career Fair this year, but aren’t sure exactly how to make the most of the experience – you’ve come to the right place! Sit back, relax and peruse these key tips provided by our very own counselor, Chelsea. Whether you’re attending the UP Spring Job Fair or another event on campus or in the community, make sure you come prepared!
- Do Your Research!
- View the list of attending organizations and research your top picks.
- What kind of disciplines are they looking for or what opportunities are they offering?
- What is their mission? Finding a place that fits you is an important part of making your mark on an organization
- Download the app CareerFair Plus for the First Avenue Career Fair
- Develop concrete questions
- Make sure you go into the Career Fair with knowledge or questions you may have about their company. These would be great conversation starters to have with a representative of the company and could transition into a conversation about what internship/ job opportunities they have available.
- Examples of some concrete questions:
- What are the skills someone can expect to develop in this industry?
- What is the path of promotion?
- Can you describe the projects previous interns have worked on?
- What is your hiring timeline?
- We get out in May, so that’s a full month before Oregon state schools if you hire me!
- Don’t ask what that company does, that communicates that you haven’t looked them up!
- Introduce yourself
- Very rarely do we have to introduce ourselves to new people in this kind of setting.
- State your name, your major (only if relevant), and a couple of your strengths.
- Practice making it sound normal, less robotic. AND REMEMBER speak clearly and with confidence, throw in a big smile…but please do your part to prevent the spread of illness and skip the handshake this year!
- QUICK TIP: Do not talk to your first choice right away. Get in the rhythm of introducing yourself. Talk to a few different employers first to warm up!
- Dress for Success!
- See here for a blog on professional attire!
- Try to leave your backpack in a safe place so you can appear strictly professional.
- Please refrain from:
- Yoga Pants
- Your casual Mon-Fri. attire (unless you wear professional attire all week long- btw YOU ROCK)
- Bring a portfolio
- What’s inside? 10+ copies of resumes, maybe you have a business card, a notebook, pen.
- The CC has numerous resources available to help get your resume in tip top shape whether you have a resume or have no idea how to start one!
- Here are some handouts on how to write/edit/review your resume and get it in top top shape.
- Take advantage of drop in hours!
- If you find yourself in a last-minute scurry to get your resume reviewed, the CC does have drop-in hours EVERY DAY. These 15- minute appointments are on a first come, first served basis that can fill up QUICKLY during the Career Fair season. This being said, you are more likely to get an appointment if you arrive early during the drop-in times.
- Our drop-in hours are posted here.
- QUICK TIP: you can get 10 sheets free of resume paper and print your resume in the CC 🙂
- Take Breaks!
- Attending a Career Fair can be exhausting! Take mental breaks, eat a snack, drink water, etc.
- Regroup with yourself every once in a while or between company visits
- Go over your notes and prepare yourself to talk to the next company representative! last thing you want to do is get your companies mixed up and say the wrong thing to the wrong employer- OOPS!
- Collect Business Cards!
- Did you find a company you really liked/ had a connection with? Get their business card!
- Ask those companies about how and when is best to follow up and write this on the business card so you don’t forget.
- With every business card, make little notes about what stood out to you, what positions are available, anything that would help you distinguish the company from all the other business cards you are collecting.
- This info can look like “We’re hiring in June. Apply online, mention John.”
- Send Thank You Emails
- Use the business cards you collected to send a follow up email or a thank you email after the Career fair has ended to stay in touch with the company- especially if you are interested in one of their jobs or internships.
- A simple email or voicemail thanking someone for speaking with you can open many opportunities for future contact, or at least separate you from the crowd as someone truly invested in being hired.
- A handout on Thank You emails written by the CC can be found here.
Still wary about the Career Fair scene? Come to one of our many “How To Work A Job Fair” workshops happening the week before the Job, Internship, and Grad School Fair! Times and dates for these workshops can be found on Engage!
So to recap: Research, interact, get the card, follow up.
Good luck with the Career Fair Pilots!!!