Attend the Career Fair!

Attend The Career Fair!

Job fairs can be intimidating, and can seem as if they are only directed to seniors (or juniors who are really on top of it).  Oh you are so wrong! While these huge halls filled with booths and employers trying to grab your attention can be intimidating, it’s so easy to narrow this chaos down and is a great way for first and second year students to begin building their professional network. Following these steps, instead of seeing a crowd of people, you can focus on specific organizations with a goal in mind. 

Prepare Your Mind

Start your career fair journey by checking out all the booths on Handshake! Find at least one employer you are interested in connecting with, which will lead to research Google is free and available to all, so take advantage of it. Look up all the companies with whom you want to start up a conversation and you will appear more professional, and make good use of time for both you and the recruiter. Nothing to wear? You can shop for free at Nelson’s Bowtie, the AQ Professional Dress Boutique to really make a great impression, since first impressions are truly so important. Don’t show up on a whim , make sure you’re available to carry professional conversations, and don’t mentally exhaust yourself with hundreds of introductions. 

Show Up Confidently

Put all this work to use, and surprise yourself with great opportunities. November 17 should be marked in your calendar to hit up Alksnis anytime between 2-5. Have a plan of action! Know where you’ll find the most helpful people (the whole staff from the Advantage Center will be there), and get straight to all of these booths. Even though there is a 3 hour time-frame, don’t try to talk to everyone. Prioritize your top choice employers first, and allow exploring after. Don’t doubt your training from beforehand. More specifically do not get companies mixed up from nerves. Understand that these employers want you as much as you’d like to work for them. 

Recap Your Experience

Afterwards you shouldn’t expect all the offers to be rolling in (but do be sure your voice mail is set up if you have offered your cell number on your resume). Take initiative to reach out and follow up with your top choices. Maybe your first step is job shadowing, volunteering, or discussing a future internship. Seek opportunities to get your foot in the door and find experiences that will improve your Career Ready Skills. Reflect on the good and bad moments during the fair, and find ways to improve for next time, because there WILL be a next time, in the Spring! 

By Annabella Bressler
Annabella Bressler