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  • Career Fair Myth vs. Reality, Myths 3 & 4

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    MYTH 3: “All I need to do is show up on the day of the Career Fair”

    The Reality: Our employers have high expectations and in this down economy, you want to stand out and be prepared every chance you get. I know how much time you spend on the computer, checking your gmail and looking at photos on Facebook. I admit, I’m guilty of the same, so it really shouldn’t be too much trouble to stay on for an extra 15 minutes and do a little bit of research on the participating employers. In that time, you can look at the list, check out their available positions, read through their Web sites, and look through their career opportunities.  Jot down a few notes to help you come up with some good questions for each employer.  Do not ask them, “So what does your company do?”  It will make you sound uninformed and lazy, and who wants to hire someone with those qualities?
    Be proactive and prepare.  Be honest too.  If either of the 2 tips below sound remotely new to you, come in and talk to us:

    • Develop a 30-second elevator speech. The employers want you to introduce yourself, give a little background information about your skills and interests, and quickly explain why you’re interested in their company. Then they want to hear some intelligent questions that show you understand what they’re all about, what their goals are, or what they value as an organization.
    • Tailor your résumé for your top companies.  If you want to give yourself the best shot at getting a job, you must tailor your résumé for every position, even when you’re attending a career fair. Even though some companies cannot accept paper résumés at the fair, it’s best to be prepared in case an employer asks you for one.

    Understand that you have an entire center with 13 full-time staff members to help you fine tune your resume, practice your elevator speech, discuss your interests and possible career paths, and give you general tips on how to prepare and stand out.  That’s right, I’m talking about us, the Career Education Center.  It’s our job to help you learn how to do these things, so do your part and come in for help.

    MYTH 4: “I should go to the Career Fair only if I am looking for a full-time job.”
    The Reality: Employers come to the Career Fair to highlight full-time and internship opportunities.  Some employers may come to the Fall Career Fair specifically recruiting for one of their full-time positions, but it doesn’t mean you can’t ask them about their internship program, volunteer opportunities, or any other future openings.  Besides, the main reason for attending the Career Fair is to network and make a good impression on the recruiters there.  You want to walk away with insights about the company, their culture, their hiring process, and any other details that can help you be a stronger candidate on your résumé, cover letter, and in an interview.  If nothing else, go to the fair as a way to practice your elevator speech and networking skills.  You wouldn’t want your first ever conversation with an employer to happen when you’re interviewing for your dream job. So go to the fair, meet people, and explore the possibilities!

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