Have you ever been in a ballroom full of employers who are looking to hire you? Sounds a little intimidating doesn’t it? That’s what I thought when I first heard about the career fair my first year of college. After a few years, I thankfully know a lot more about it and the ways to prepare for success. Whether you’re looking for a job, post graduation career, or are interested in graduate school, it’s super helpful to attend the career fair. This year’s is the biggest one yet so consider this your unofficial guide to all things career fair.
Now, getting back to that ballroom full of employers, it’s definitely a good idea to come prepared. I’m talking interview type clothes, a resume, the whole ordeal. Don’t worry! There are so many ways to get ready so that you feel cool and collected while talking to your future employer. Let me tell you how I prepare for the career fair.
Do some research. This year, more than 160 employers are coming to campus. You can find a list of each employer attending on the career services website, along with the job titles each company is hiring. That part always gets me excited. You can even customize your search to include your major, job type you’re looking for, and industry. Make your list of who you want to talk to, but remember to keep an open mind. You never know what talking to the right person at the right time can do for you.
Find some snazzy interview clothes. It doesn’t need to be a ball gown or tuxedo, but you shouldn’t show up in the sweatpants you’ve been wearing for the past 3 days. Business attire will do. Show the employers your best self, and treat the career fair like you are going to an interview. If you don’t have any clothes like this, don’t stress. The career closet on campus is a great resource for free professional clothing.
Bring your resume and have questions ready. Employers want your resume and will need it to contact you after you blow them away with your dazzling personality and amazing skills. Making a resume can be stressful, but there are resources to help, aka the career fair preparation pop-up booths. Also come with questions. If you’ve ever been through an interview, then you know about the dreaded part where they ask if you have any questions. Show that you know what a company is about and how prepared you are by coming with a couple premeditated questions.
Try to relax. They’re here to meet you. You’re a hot commodity. I have personally met people who have gotten their job from the career fair and described it as “having a short conversation and feeling like it was the right fit.” If you’re feeling iffy about attending, just come and feel it out. Trust me, it’s worth it to come to the career fair and show other professionals how incredible you are!