How To Rock The Career Fair

Source:  blog.vodafone.com.au

Source: blog​.voda​fone​.com​.au

This article was written by Lindsey Sampson, a 3rd year inter­na­tional affairs stu­dent at NU as a reg­ular stu­dent con­trib­utor for The Works.

Career fairs are all about being remem­bered. You bring a unique set of skills and knowl­edge to a com­pany and you deserve to be remembered. A little bit of prepa­ra­tion can go a long way in sticking out among a sea of candidates.

Create An Ele­vator Pitch: Maybe you’re sick of people telling you to make an ele­vator pitch (or maybe you’re sick of other, more detestable things like slow walkers and paying back stu­dent loans). An ele­vator pitch is cru­cial at career fairs, where time is lim­ited and atten­tion spans are short. An ele­vator pitch allows you to com­mu­ni­cate your best self in the shortest amount of time (about the amount of time you spend in an ele­vator awk­wardly clearing your throat and avoiding eye con­tact with strangers, hence the name). Make sure to include the following:

1. Your name

2. What you are studying/​where your skills lie

3. What your back­ground is in, espe­cially if it’s dif­ferent from your major

4. What you are inter­ested in

5. A tidbit about the com­pany. This shows that you know the com­pany and you did your research. Employers don’t want to waste their time, and this lets them know that you came pre­pared because that’s just how great you are.

Resumes: Speaking of coming pre­pared, let’s talk resumes. Don’t bring one. Don’t bring five. Bring at least fif­teen, depending on the size of the fair and the number of com­pa­nies you are inter­ested in (you should look at the list of par­tic­i­pating com­pa­nies beforehand).

talk about unique Source: badgercareerbuzz.blogspot.com

talk about unique
Source: bad​ger​ca​reer​buzz​.blogspot​.com

Make Your­self Mem­o­rable: Once you have an employer’s atten­tion, make your con­ver­sa­tion mem­o­rable, but don’t draw it out. A short but inter­esting con­ver­sa­tion is more likely to stick out in an employer’s head than a long but fruit­less con­ver­sa­tion. You don’t have to men­tion every inter­esting thing you’ve ever done, but men­tion at least one thing they can remember about you — where your last co-​​op was, an inter­esting class you took last semester. Maybe start with “last summer I com­pleted an intern­ship in cus­tomer rela­tions and com­mu­ni­ca­tions and I taught myself basic HTML.” This can be part of your ele­vator pitch. You are dif­ferent and super inter­esting, so give employers a glimpse into how awe­some you are.

Get A Busi­ness Card: It’s like get­ting a rose on The Bach­elor — it’s the whole point. Get­ting a busi­ness card from a poten­tial employer is your ticket for­ward in the hiring process for this com­pany. Be sure to send a quick email after the fair (prefer­ably that same evening or the morning after) to follow up and restate your enthu­siasm for the com­pany. Avoid sending a vague, fill-​​in-​​the-​​blank email — zero people will remember who you are if they get an email saying, “I loved meeting you last night.” Employers will only remember you if you make them remember you. Men­tion some­thing you talked about during the fair (this will be helpful if you fol­lowed Tip #3 — just saying).

Pro­vide Value: Another quick tip about follow-​​up emails. It’s impor­tant to pro­vide value so employers don’t feel they’re doing you such a favor. Send along an article you read this morning: “It was great talking to you yes­terday about how your new com­pany blog. I read this article today about the growing impor­tance of con­tent mar­keting in your industry and thought you might find it interesting.”

Remember: Employers aren’t at career fairs to judge you. They are there to rec­og­nize talent and attract great can­di­dates. So don’t worry if your first con­ver­sa­tion isn’t per­fect — start by talking to your “B list” to get warmed up then by the end of the night you will be talking to your dream com­pany like a pro.