4 Tips for a Successful Career Fair
[Author: Tatum Morrison]
The Concordia University Texas Career Fair is just around the corner on Thursday, March 5. Now, what is a career fair exactly? This event helps you create connections with local businesses, start networking with employers, and can even help you get an internship, part-time job or full-time job. It sounds like a stressful and anxiety-ridden event, but these four tips from the Vocation & Professional Development office on campus can help you rock this career fair.
Create a brief introduction about yourself that you can use during the Concordia career fair. When introducing yourself to a company representative, make sure to include your grade level (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior or senior), your major and when you expect to graduate. Let them know about your experiences in your field as well as your knowledge, expertise and interests in life.
Be clear about what you are looking for with the company, whether you’re seeking a career, internship, volunteer opportunities, or just information and advice about what it’s like to work in their field.
- Maintain eye contact,
- Give a firm handshake,
- Engage in conversation and focus on the person in front of you, and
- Ask questions.
Dress for Success
The way you dress impacts the way employers perceive you. Business casual is the correct attire for both job interviews and career fairs.
Business casual is a more relaxed version of business formal that still maintains a professional look. For instance, while business formal attire typically includes a solid two-piece suit for men and women, business casual attire allows for cardigans, khaki pants, sweaters, blazers, and even denim if the workplace allows it. So for the CTX career fair, make sure you wear business casual or more formal attire.
There are specific things you always want to avoid:
- Ripped or baggy jeans
Questions for Recruiters
The day before the Concordia career fair, research the businesses that will be attending and get to know more about them. Then, come up with a list of questions that you can ask each employer.
For example, you can ask about qualifications, what a typical workday looks like, what career opportunities they have in your field, and how to follow up with them. All of these questions give you valuable information about the companies and make you look interested in learning about their work.
This is one of the most important steps of a successful career fair. If you’d like to be remembered by a company, write a handwritten thank you card and send it within 48 hours after meeting them. Make sure to grab their business card on the way out, so you know where to send the card.
In the follow-up note, there are many things you may want to include:
- Thank the recruiter for speaking with you.
- Mention the career fair where you met them.
- Mention the positions in which you are interested.
- State something specific that the two of you discussed.
Now that you have some tips on how to successfully attend a career fair and efficiently build connections, come by Concordia’s Career Fair next Thursday, March 5. The fair will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the lower level of Cedel Hall.