With graduation just around the corner, many of us are focused on trying to land that dream job, or any job that keeps us from moving back in with our parents. Fortunately, one of the perks of being a student at Ga Southern is that we have access to Career Services and all of the services that they provide including career fairs. Career fairs in particular can not only be intimidating, but tricky to navigate. They are a chance for companies to meet and screen large volumes of potential job candidates in just a short time period. Below are some tips on how to present the best version of yourself and stand out from the crowd in order to kick-start your career!
Research Registered Employers
Because most career fairs generally have a large number of companies attend, visiting each booth can become time consuming. Instead of trying to meet with every recruiter at the fair, only visit the companies that interest you. More importantly, everyone should research the companies that they plan on reaching out to. Not only will doing the research provide better talking points in conversation, but being able to prove that you are knowledgeable about the organization can really impress recruiters. Companies generally will send their Human Resource Departments to career fairs and therefore whoever you’ll be speaking with will more than likely know if you have done your research.
Take Multiple Copies of Your Resume
Everyone should bring at least two copies of their resumes for each company that they are interested in. By researching the companies ahead of time, you will also be able to tailor your resume to their mission. Generally, your resume should only be one page long so that employers can quickly glance at your qualifications.
Wear Appropriate Attire
This may seem like common sense, but many potential candidates fail in this category. Be sure to stay conservative in what you wear and wear comfortable dress shoes as well. Skirts and dresses should not be higher than the knees and a tailored suit can go a long way. Career Services understands that dress clothes can be expensive and not everyone can afford to buy a suit. If this is the case, check out their closet for a quick fix!
Prepare for Interviews
Many career fairs will also do on-sight interviews if candidates pass the screening process. To be prepared, develop a one minute commercial that highlights the key benefits that you can offer the organization. You may only have two to five minutes to market yourself and protect yourself from being screened out so only speak about qualities that would best fit that company. The three main keys to any interview is to make eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and show enthusiasm. Prepare answers for hypothetical questions but also prepare questions for the interviewers.
Bonus tip: If you forgot to prepare for a certain company that you want to interview for, try to listen in on some of the interviews ahead of you. Also try to get some company literature from the booth before getting in line so that you can read about the company while waiting.
Network and Follow-Up
Career fairs in general are all about networking. Be sure to get a business card from every recruiter that you speak to and try to connect with them on LinkedIn afterwards. If you interview with anyone, send them a hand written thank you card in the mail the next day. Following up with recruiters if one of the most important tactics that you can use.
Check out details here for the next career fair at Ga Southern!