Upon joining a university or college, one of the things you notice is how you get exposed to a whole new world you barely knew existed. It is in college that you realise you future is very dependent on the decisions you make. You are presented with many opportunities – good and bad – it’s up to you to make best use of these opportunities.
One of the opportunities are the many career fairs that are held by companies and your university. With the informal setting and familiar environment for the students, career fairs are known to have a relaxed air around them while still accomplishing the same goal of connecting students with potential employers.
Whilst a number of students manage to come from career fairs with a positive result, a lot end up with nothing to show at the end of the day save for a few crumpled flyers and a free t-shirt, if lucky. In as much as the success or failure of a student in a Career Fair depends on various pointers, a huge number of students ignore the preparation bit.
Here are five tips to make sure you walk into a career fair like a champion.
1. Background checks
Usually a couple of weeks before a career fair is held, a list of participating companies or organizations is handed out. This can be through the flyers or email. Take some time and see if you can research the companies and their products or services. If a certain speaker has been included on the list, check out their LinkedIn profiles and learn more about them. At the career fair, use this information to engage the company or the individual in a conversation.
2. An Updated CV
Never go to a career fair without your CV. If a CV is the launch pad for your career, then it should be almost a no-brainer to have it in hand when attending a career fair. But make sure it is always up to date and that you have many copies.
3. A Professional Outfit
You should always treat these fairs like a job interview. Dress up the job you would want to have. It’s this sense of professionalism that will appeal to the recruiters and hopefully impress them enough for you to land a position or an internship.
4. An Elevator Pitch
Anytime you attend a career fair, remember that you are trying to sell a brand. With the brand being yourself. Before attending, make sure you have rehearsed your polished elevator pitch. It should convey who you are and how you are passionate about your preferred industry.
5. Business Cards
A business card shows how you have taken the time to prepare your brand and sets you apart from the masses who don’t have one. A contact might not be able to remember all the faces and the names but they will sure remember you by your business card. Make sure you carry enough of them and that they are professional looking.