It's that time of year again when companies converge onto college campuses to recruit fresh, new talent for entry-level positions and summer internships.
We just finished our first career fair of the season and we felt it would be great to impart some of our wisdom and experience to those young job seekers who might need a little extra help. Below are four simple ways to set yourself above the rest of the competition:
- Do Your Research: Almost every university posts which companies will be represented at the career fair. Take the time to research the companies who have positions open in your field. This way you can make the most of your time by approaching these employers first.
- Bring A Resume: The employers don't show up empty handed and neither should you. Show you are prepared for the event by bringing your resume printed out and ready to share with those who request it.
- On a side note, make sure your resume looks good. Proofread for typo's and make sure your resume highlights your skills and accomplishments.
- Dress to Impress: This is most likely your first interaction with a company so make sure you look professional and well groomed. Employers keep their eyes open for business dressed individuals to talk to first. This also lets employers know you are prepared and serious about finding a job.
- Have an Elevator Pitch: Be ready to showcase who you are. Employers want to know what you're studying, what work experience you've had, and how you can help the company. Be ready to answer those questions when you introduce yourself. This will help you stand out.
Want to stand out even more? Avoid these common mistakes students make at career fairs:
- Don't walk around with a group of friends. Walk around on your own. This will make you more approachable and easier to talk to.
- Don't just walk up to a booth expecting to get the free swag.
- Don't go to a career fair if you are not serious about finding a job. You are just wasting the recruiter's time.
- Don't walk up to a company and ask them what they do - again, do your research.
- Don't carry around a bunch of stuff. Have a folder that holds your resume and that's it. You will look more professional and presentable.
Good luck with your job search!