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Video Advises How to Make the Most of a Career Fair Visit

Video Advises How to Make the Most of a Career Fair Visit

One of the most beneficial events for any college student, whether graduating or not, is the career fair. It is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to meet employers, to make  great first impressions, and to practice your interview skills (according to who?). Follow College of Saint Elizabeth (CSE) student Trang Tran, ’12, as she travels the recent Tri-Collegiate Career and Graduate School Fair at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

 The following tips can help ensure a successful visit to your next Career Fair:

  • Prepare - Review the employers attending the fair on the specific/respective Career Development website. Spend time getting some background on organizations that interest you, then you can ask focused questions. This impresses representatives, because it shows a genuine interest in them.
  • Rest - Your company research should be complete, so be sure to get a good night sleep the evening before the fair.
  • Dress Professionally - First impressions are very important.
  • Bring Many Copies of Your Resume - Bring enough resumes for employers you intend to meet, plus 20 more. Make certain there are no errors and use resume paper (24 lb).
  • Allow Yourself Adequate Time - Arrive at the fair at the designated start time or within 30 minutes after its starts. Fairs close promptly, and you don’t want to miss any opportunities.
  • Prioritize Employers - You may have little time to speak to employers, because many other students may be interested in the same employers - so budget your time wisely.
  • Have a Game Plan - Take a few minutes when you arrive to review the location directory of employers. You can locate the employers you're most interested in and see if any lines are building up, you may want to start there.
  • Explore Other Options - There may be employers who were added at the last minute. Explore those tables as well. When you have seen all of the companies you set out to meet, visit the other tables. There may be hidden opportunities. This is also a great networking tool!
  • Offer the Recruiter a Firm Handshake and Introduce Yourself - Be ready to have a 30 second introduction ready about what you are interested in and what you have to offer. Hand your resume to the recruiter. It is also a nice gesture to welcome and thank the representative for coming to CSE.
  • Collect Business Cards - This serves two purposes: First you can take brief notes on the back of each card (ex.: things you want to remember about the company or the representative). Second, you will need the correct information to send a thank you note that acknowledges your appreciation of the employer visiting our campus and providing opportunities to you.
  • Respect Employers' Product Samples - Some employers bring product samples for students to take. This is not intended to be a shopping spree, take one and thank the employer for the gift. Always check with employers before taking materials from their tables.
  • Mind your Manners! - Not only are you representing yourself, you also represent the College. The organizations at the fair are there because of their interest in CSE students. Some representatives may even be alumni. Be courteous to your fellow students waiting to speak with employers by keeping your introduction and questions brief and also respecting the employers’ limits.
  • BE Positive: Smile! - The time spent with employers is a great learning and networking experience, enjoy it!