How do you make the most of a College Career Fair?
UNR just had its Career and Internship Fair on April 4th. There were plenty of students and employers to chat with, but how can students make the most of a career fair with so many potential employers to choose from? Here are a few tips:
- The day before the career fair, pick out professional attire, print extra resumes, and make sure you have enough business cards. If you’re a student and do not have a business card, you can still print one with your name, major, and contact info on it. You may even be able to download the University’s logo to include on your business card.
- Before you go into the main section of the career fair, scan the handout that lists all the employers present. UNR includes a handy chart that lists whether the employer is looking for students from a particular major.
- Decide which employers you want to talk to. You don’t have to stop at every table, but walk around and stop at the tables of employers you can really connect with. Smile and introduce yourself, even if you have a nametag on. Ask questions and have a conversation with the representative at the desk; don’t just collect free stuff and move on.
- If you are able to have a good conversation with an individual, get their business card and connect with them on LinkedIn or send them an email later to follow up on your conversation. For example, I only had an hour to spend at the career fair, so I had a few meaningful conversations with a few people about my educational blog. I met Pete Parker of Greek Ladders (http://www.greekladders.com) and talked to him about his business, which connects students who are part of Greek organizations with potential employers.
- After the career fair, jot down a few notes on the back of the business cards of people you talked to. For example, I told Pete I would send him a survey on freshmen data, and because I made a note, I could remember to follow up accordingly.
- Finally, check out the websites of the employers you talked to and look for job openings. Often times, the representatives at the booths at career fairs will encourage you to apply for jobs online rather than handing them a resume then and there. If they ask for your resume, be prepared to give one, but if they don’t, avoid pushing your resume on them. If you connect with them later in a positive way, they will remember you.