How to Fully Take Advantage of a Career Fair?

Filed in From the Staff by on February 18, 2013

Hello everyone!

Last week was an exciting time for everyone at WPI who were looking for internships and jobs. Students got all dressed up, ready to hand out their resumes and trying to think through how they are going to interact with the employers. While I was going in between tables at the career fair, I ran into some younger friends and they were confused how to make use of the whole event. So here is some simple tips to take full advantage of a career fair:

1) Make sure you prepare beforehand! Use your JobFinder account and check out the companies who are attending the career fair. You can run an advanced search to filter the job type you want to be either full-time or internship and expedite your search.
2) Research the companies and give yourself enough time to search on all the ones you’re interested in, so try not to do it on the day of. It’s always a good idea to take notes on your research. You can bring a little notebook or padfolio where you designate a page to each company. Take short notes about company values, products or services and a couple facts that stand out about the company so you can engage all this information in your talk with the recruiter if you need to. You can quickly go over the company info before you approach that specific company’s table or waiting in line.
3) Have an elevator pitch ready, which simply means you need to mention your name, class year, which position you’re interested in and why you’re a qualified candidate and then ask a follow-up question like “Can I learn a little bit more about this rotational program?” etc. Practice to yourself or with a friend. Talk it out and see if you are clearly stating your points and getting your message across that you’re a qualified candidate.
4) BE CONFIDENT! If you’re relaxed and calm, you’ll be able to explain yourself much better and keep the conversation with the potential employers engaging. After you ask the recruiters a question, listen to their responses carefully and use your body language to show that you’re paying attention. Make sure the questions you select lead into a conversation so avoid questions with a yes/no answer.
5) Make sure you take a business card from each recruiter you talk to, even if the company is recruiting for a position that’s not necessarily relevant to what you want, still take a business card from the person who is giving you information and send them a thank you on the same day, you can always thank them for taking the time to give you information and ask a follow-up question to keep the conversation going after a face-to-face chat at the fair. Remember you should start building your business network early on, so stay in touch with people!

I hope this information helps! If you ever told yourself “The career fair was okay”, “There weren’t that many good companies anyways”, “I’ll do better on the next one” just follow my suggestions and see if it makes a difference. The key is to be confident, clearly and concisely state your points and keep the conversations engaging. Good luck on the job hunt everyone!


About the Author ()

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Class of 2013- Industrial Engineering

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