George Mason University’s 2017 Spring Career Fair is coming up. Whether you are a graduating senior looking for full-time employment or an underclassmen just hoping to network and possibly get some experience on your resume, this is not an opportunity to pass up. You may be contemplating attending the fair or having concerns about how to prepare for the process. Below are a few tips that I took away from my previous career fair experiences.
1. Review what companies and representatives will be present before hand
This is especially important in order to know which day to attend the fair. Knowing who you will be meeting and exchanging information with before you arrive can also help you better prepare what to say and what questions to ask. This can also narrow down your list of tables to visit so that you use your time most efficiently.
2. Freshen up your resume and customize it for the employers
You definitely do not want to go the career fair (or any career fair) empty-handed. Have a few up to date copies of your resume printed out. If you’ve done your research beforehand about which employers you want to speak to, fill in their information on your resume template and print one out for each in order to make your resume and cover letter more personal.
3. Be prepared to ask questions rather than answer questions
While the representatives and employers will be curious to know a bit about you, this is not an on the spot job interview. Remember, no one know what you are looking for except you. Part of finding the right opportunity for yourself is getting as much information as possible.
4. Step out of the box and visit tables you may not have been previously interested in
This is pretty straightforward but not to be forgotten. Maybe you’re a psychology major with your sights set on working for a big research company. Don’t overlook the business internships or non-profit opportunities as well. These are things that can build diversity on your resume. If anything, you may gain some beneficial contacts.
5. Dress for succes
Most students attending the career fair are dressed business formal to business casual. You don’t need to have on a dinner dress but you should be presentable. Not only will your attire give you the professional impression you need, it will also give a boost of confidence in yourself and your pitch.
6. Don’t be discouraged
There may be employers present that are not actively hiring or that are looking for a specific group of people (you may be a college sophomore and they are only interested in college seniors who will soon be graduating). Keep the positivity and continue conversations and networking. Each person you meet is a connection and a great form of practice for future fairs and/or interviews.