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Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

Make the Most of the Career Fair

Tiffany WaddellOPCD Expert Contributor – Tiffany Waddell, Career Counselor

Whether you are a student exploring possible career options, or looking for your next internship or full-time job, the career fair is a great opportunity for all students!  It is only open to current students of the University, and you will get to: network with other career fair attendees, learn to answer the question, “Tell me about yourself,” learn about a myriad of career industries, and get comfortable attending career fairs and talking with recruiters.

Thinking about attending the career fair?

Check out this short video for tips to help you make the most of the career fair:

To learn more, read further for details and resources to help you prepare and make the most of your experience.

1. Dig for Info. Before you go, researching organizations of interest is a great way to strategize which representatives you may want to talk to, and you will have a point of reference for not only what the company does, but what values are of interest to them, and how your skill set may connect to a position there.

2. Meet & Greet. Arrive early, stay positive, and smile! The Career fair is an event that allows you to meet different company reps – many of which happen to be WFU alumni – and network.  Remember, networking is not about whether or not that person can give you a job or lead on the spot, but about the information you can gather to build your knowledge! Check out the networking and resume pages for more information about how to effectively market yourself on paper and out loud.  You can also stop by the office for resume review hours Monday – Thursday between 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

3. Dress the Part. First impressions are critical – and often begin with what you are wearing! Remember, you are marketing a product (you!) and at the career fair, you want to be memorable – in a good way.  Your outfit should be wrinkle and stain free, and you don’t want to wear too many accessories.  Bring a portfolio or folder to jot down notes and collect business cards. While we aren’t saying that you wear will get you the job, it will definitely give you a competitive edge. Here are a few examples of what to wear.

4. Say “Thank You.” For each employer that you meet, be sure to ask for a business card or jot down their contact information in your portfolio!  Sending a follow-up thank you note (via email is fine) within 24-48 hours is clutch!  This will not only show gratitude for them taking the time to talk with you, but will allow you to reference specific details from your conversation and further cement a lasting impression.

Category: Professional Development

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