Article by Guest Author
What are Career Fairs?
Many US universities hold career fairs and invite companies to their campus to meet students and encourage networking. Career fairs are a great option for someone who is searching for a job – internship, co-op or full-time permanent job. From the company’s perspective, they get a chance to meet potential employees from amongst the numerous students that attend the career fair. At a career fair, all attending companies are provided a table and some space to set-up their ‘company marketing equipment and tools’, which includes banners, pamphlets, brochures, freebies and other cool stuff. The company representatives meet students who attend these fairs and promote their company, while simultaneously evaluating and short-listing candidates for interviews for their available positions.
How do you find out about career fairs?
Check your university career development center’s website for upcoming career fairs. Ask your career advisor about other upcoming related events as well. At some career fairs, only the students and alumni from the university can attend; however, at some other career fairs, students from other universities are also welcome. Look out for career fairs in nearby area universities. Some non-profit organizations also arrange job fairs. Be on the lookout for them as they are your easiest way to get noticed and network!
What should you do before the career fair?
Companies List :
The university career development website will put up a list of participating companies about 3-5 days before the main event. Go through the list and see which companies interest you. You should think about speaking to as many employers as possible based on your interests. However, have a fixed target list of companies that you cannot afford to miss. Visit the company websites and find more information about the company and what jobs they have.
Resume preparation for career fair
Update your resume with latest details including any recent accomplishments or activities. Proofread it. Ask your friends, colleagues and advisors for suggestions. Make sufficient copies of your resume. The last thing you want is to fall short of resumes at the career fair. Carry resume copies in a good portfolio/folder. You may want to carry a bag to stack in the marketing materials handed out to you. Be ready for a long day ahead.
How to Dress for Career Fair
Plan what you will be wearing at the career fair.
Guys: Wear a proper business suit – a dress shirt, trousers, necktie, blazer and shoes. You should be clean-shaven and your hair must be properly trimmed. Get a haircut if you are in doubt!
Girls: Wear a suit or team a dress shirt with pants or a skirt. You may carry a purse along. No excuses here!
Check the weather and dress accordingly. Remember, you want to look professional and friendly. Check your breath! However, do not wear perfume/cologne – some employer might be allergic to it.
General tips for the day of Career Fair
If you have class or other appointments at the same time as the career fair, try to talk to your course instructor in advance and reschedule your appointments; you do not want to miss this chance! Have a good night’s sleep so that you are fresh when you talk to employers. Plan to arrive early at the career fair. Companies start to wrap up before the closing time. Being late means that you will be meeting less employers.
In the next article on career fairs, topics like how the process works at career fair, How to talk to employers at career fair, How to follow up after career fair, Do career fairs work, etc will be discussed.
About Guest Author: DD completed MS from a university in the Northeast region of United States and currently works at a financial firm in New York City.
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