Each semester, the American University Career Center hosts a huge job and internship fair. Employers across several fields attend to meet AU students seeking entry level, part-time or internship positions. Roughly 140 organizations and companies will have stations for students to meet recruiters and employers. Here are a few ways to make the most of this opportunity.
Be prepared. Bring a folder with several copies of your resume, along with a pen. If you have your own business cards, consider bringing them along and adding them to your resume with a paperclip. Check out this list of employers that will be attending and research what companies you want to target.
Actively listen. If you’re waiting in line to speak with someone, tune into the conversation in front of you to avoid asking redundant questions. Write down any notes or helpful advice that recruiters give you to save for future networking events and applications.
Take company materials politely. Most company representatives will provide brochures, one-page info sheets and other miscellaneous content from their company for students to take with them. If you’re interested in learning more about opportunities, these resources will come in handy in the future.
Don’t be shy. Even though it can be intimidating, networking is a vital asset for career development. Approach employers with a smile, give them a firm handshake and tell them about yourself. Have your “elevator pitch” ready to go (try to tailor it to specific employers if possible). Have a few questions ready in your head to learn more about the positions they are currently offering.
Be clear and concise. Try not to talk too much with any individual employer. Let the conversation flow naturally but be conscious of the employer’s time.
Dress for success. When in doubt, stick to solid colors. Imagine that you’re going to a job interview. Although suits are not required, they are encouraged and will make you appear polished and professional.
Craft a follow up email. If you find a business you’re particularly interested in, follow up with the employer with a personalized email. Make sure you mention how great it was to meet them and thank them for giving you more information about the job or internship opportunity. You can also ask additional questions as appropriate.
The fair will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 30 in Bender Arena from 1-4 p.m.
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