6 Things to Make the Most at Your Next Career Fair
Standing out is never easy! At a career fair, it could be the key to your next big success. Whether you are in college and attending your first event or you have been in the industry for a while and getting back out there, you may have several questions on how to make yourself stand out over everyone in the crowd.
Here are six tips that can make your career fair experience top-notch!
1) Update, format, and print your resume. First and foremost, take the time to update and format your resume with your most recent job experience, education, and accomplishments. This includes updating your LinkedIn account to match your resume. Your resume is by far your most important tool. You may even want to ask a professional to critique your resume. Be sure to print at least 20 copies of your resume to bring with you to hand out.
2) Dress the Part. Before your resume is even in the employer’s hands, they are making sure your dress and professionalism matches their office standards. Pretend a career fair is the first interview. You wouldn’t show up in your sweatpants and sneakers, would you? Take the time and energy to look your very best!
3) Clean Up Your Social Media. Your social media accounts are easily accessible to future employers. Take the time to clean up your accounts and think, “Could this post ruin my chances of landing my next big break?” If so, I would recommend removing the old posts and not post any similar posts that may affect you in the long run. Less is best when it comes to social media.
4) Be Prepared. Your resume has been perfected, your outfit is primped and ready to go and your social media accounts are cleaned up. What’s next you may ask? It’s time to prepare yourself for the big day! Career fairs can be overwhelming if you are unsure of what to expect. First, do some research and find out which employers will be attending the event. Once you have spotted your top employers, prioritize them by most interest and know where they will be located. This will give you a solid game plan for the day.
Take the time to visit each of the employer’s social media platform(s), website(s) and know which position(s) they have available. This gives you the upward edge on what’s going on in the company and some talking points or questions you may have for them. Always have a pen/pencil and notebook handy to write down anything that may be important to your future with that company.
5) Practice the Pitch. You may only have this one shot to sell yourself to the employer. Career fairs are typically very busy and having a short but sweet elevator pitch is key to help you stand out. Your elevator pitch should only last 20 to 30 seconds. Do not “wing it.” Give your pitch some character (be you) but also be concise and confident.
6) Arrive Early and Interact. It’s the night before the big event and you’re excited but nervous. To help ease some of the nerves, take the time to map out your commute (be prepared for traffic) and know where you are going to park.
You’ve parked, arrived early and are walking through the door. Now it is time to interact with the different employers on your list and sell yourself with your elevator pitch. Be sure to ask for the business cards of your top employers (challenge yourself to get at least 5). While you’re accomplishing your game plan you see a booth that wasn’t on the list, but you instantly become interested. Step to the side, pull out your phone and do a quick search on the employer, then go visit. Even though sticking to a game plan is important, it is okay to do a detour.
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