Career fairs can be a high-pressure situation for students and employers alike. No matter if you’re trying to earn a position with an organization or attract new employees to your company, we break down how to best prepare for career fair season.
First of all, please know that it’s completely normal to feel a bit nervous about your upcoming career fair, especially if it’s your first one. But trust us on this one, the end result is worth the nerves now. Career fairs are critical for your future success. They give you a chance to explore companies and careers in the best way possible – by speaking to people who do what you hope to someday. But how can you prepare for your career fair?
1. Make the Most of Your Time
Before stepping foot into the career fair, we recommend prioritizing which booths you want to stop at the most. Taking time to strategize will help ensure you see the companies you’re most interested in and not miss out on making valuable connections.
Once you know who you want to meet with, take some time to learn about them. Most companies in attendance will assume that they’ll have to tell you about themselves, so surprise them by sharing a few of your favorite facts about their organization. Plus, you’ll be prepared for the often asked “Why are you interested in us?” question.
2. Prepare to Impress
The easiest way to tell about yourself is with a resume that summarizes your experiences and expertise. Don’t forget to print on quality paper and present in some sort of portfolio.
In addition to presenting your past experience with a resume, make a great first impression with professional attire. As the old saying goes, “dress for the job you want.” And while you may be looking forward to a hands-on skilled labor position, shoot for the stars and show management-level professionalism with business attire. A conservative, classic look will show how serious you are about earning a professional position.
No matter what you wear, confidence is key. Think about it: if two people with similar skills are interested in a company but one is timid and the other visibly shows the skills they possess, the latter is more likely to be selected.
3. Show Your Interest
Make the most of every minute with a potential employer by asking specific questions. Begin by asking about the steps that need to be taken to earn a position. Don’t hold back on asking a recruiter how you can improve our chances of receiving an offer. Then, get to know what a typical day on the job is like as well as the opportunities for growth in the future. You’ll simultaneously learn about the organization and prove your eagerness to join the team.
It’s understandable if you’re also nervous for a career fair, even as an employer. This is your chance to talk with a large amount of students, so it’s the perfect opportunity to find the right fit. But how can you make the most of your career fair experience and find the right people for your organization?
1. Visualize Your Perfect Candidates
Before you set up your both, know what kind of person you’re looking for. If you want to fill a certain position, have a specific list of skills and experience in mind. But equally as important as a student’s expertise is his or her personality. Be on the lookout for both a professional and cultural fit for your organization.
2. Connect on Social Media
Attract students to your stand with engaging, strategically placed ads in their most visited place: social media. This is a great opportunity to integrate your brand into their career fair plan and make a connection before you meet in person.
3. Show Your Best Stuff
Once you’re at the career fair, you’ll only have a few minutes to sell your organization to potential candidates. Have a script prepared, detailing the best parts of your business. Whether it be your ideal location, incredible benefits, or growth opportunity, know your strengths and share them.
Whether you’re a student or an employer, we hope this helps you to be as prepared as possible for your upcoming career fair. We would love to hear about your experience at your next career fair. Share your story on Instagram with @ibuildamerica_ohio or Facebook!