By Felix Chiu
BGE Career Strategy & Professional Development
3 Things to Do Before Going to Your Next Career Fair
Career fairs are a great way to network, make first impressions, and both give and receive information between yourself and potential employers. However, we acknowledge that the entire career fair process can seem very daunting and overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a short list of things to prepare and have before talking to your first recruiter:
THE KNOWLEDGE - Recruiters will be much more interested in taking time to talk to you, if they can see that you’ve taken time to learn a thing or two about their company. Take a look at which companies will be recruiting at the event, and research the ones that appeal to you. Find out what the company does, values they represent, and potential openings that they have that you might be able to fill.
THE LOOK - First impressions are key at these events, and your appearance will communicate a lot about yourself before you even say a word. If you are trying to get started in a profession, dress like a professional. Formal business attire is strongly recommended. Typically a dark colored suit, with a light colored shirt/blouse will be sufficient. Bring your resume in a professional looking folder or portfolio, and be sure to carry yourself with a combination of confidence and friendliness.
THE TALK - Practice your “elevator pitch.” This will likely be the first substantial opportunity to speak with the recruiter. Be able to very briefly describe your skills and experiences, and how you will be able to fit into the company’s opening. This shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds, and then try to keep the dialogue going by asking a question. Asking insightful questions gives you an opportunity to show the recruiter that you’ve done research on their company.
If all of the above goes well, you should be on your way to giving the recruiter an updated copy of your resume, and the recruiter giving you a business card. Be sure to follow up with any of the recruiters that you speak with. You now have a contact in the company; don’t let it go to waste!
We hope that you can use these things in preparation for any upcoming career fairs. Good luck to all of you!