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5 Easy Ways to Stand Out at a Career Fair


Motivated Hofstra collegiettes, listen up! In case, you’ve forgotten, the annual Fall Job and Internship Fair that was originally set for October 31st was rescheduled to this Wednesday, November 28th. 

With the extra month to polish up their resumes and refine their small talk skills, you better believe the competition will be tough out there. Here are five strategic tips to stand out from the crowd.


1. Do Your Research

In 2009, it was concluded that the average college student spends 24.5 hours a week online---and those results were found before the rapid growth of social media sites like Twitter in  February 2010 and establishing of Instagram in October 2010.

All your time spent online can be put to good use! Figure out what companies will be at the fair, get the company history and take note of their social media presence in relation to your own. Find the hiring managers and college recruiters on LinkedIn and see if your networks overlap.

This preparation will not only show your diligence but also your genuine interest in their company or organization. Going in knowing what you want is always an admirable quality.


2. Add Some Color

Walking in, it may seem like you’re immersed in a sea of gray and black, the standard “business professional” palette. But c’mon collegiette, show potential employers you’re as creative with your look as your business sense. Spice up the look a little to grab attention the right way.

Add a pop of color to a straight leg pants suit with a colorful low heel. Try these Mossimo Viveca Blingy heel with contrasting metallic pointed toe design. The style comes in a variety of bright colors and is on sale at Target for $26.39.

Or try belting a plain sweater set with a gold accessory for an instant hint of glam. This Gilded Skinny Belt for $20 from NastyGal.com will synch your waist with a statement.


3. Be Prepared with Business Cards

In addition to the run of the mill resume, nothing shows “I mean business”, literally, like a nice little 2 by 3 and a half-inch of paper with all your info on it. Its quick, easy and allows your to avoid fumbling for a pen and pad at the end of the interaction.

Your local ‘Copy and Print Shop’ in Staples let you customize your cards starting at $19.99 for 250 cards. You can choose from different card designs, fonts, colors and paper types. Get as fancy as you want.


4. Don’t be Afraid of Witty Banter

No matter what industry you’re trying to break into, knowledge of current events is crucial. You don’t want to just “look good on paper” and be a fact-spewing robot in person. Make the booth attendant want to talk to you.

Good thing staying up to date these days is as easy as a few clicks. Google News, the New York Times and CNN Trends are among the fastest and most accurate sources to get the lowdown in seconds.

Check these sites daily the week leading up to the fair, but be careful not to talk yourself into a corner about an issue or event you’re not as well versed on.


5. Be affirmative

A firm handshake and the beginning and end of the mini-interview will speak volumes to an employer who’s on the fence about your application. The most important of all non-verbal business communication, a handshake reveals a lot about you.

Keep it brief. Use one hand, shake from your elbow and find the balance between forceful and fish hand; ie don’t squeeze too hard but don’t let your hand go limp and let the employer control the hand shake. For more deatailed tips, click here


The Hofstra Career Center reorganized the event with barely a fumble in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. See a list of participants here. The fair will take place this Wednesday in the David S. Mack Sports Complex on North Campus from 11 am to 2 pm.

Let us know if you’ll be attending and trying this tips in the comments below. Good luck, collegiettes!

A Boston girl living in New York, Sidney is a senior at Hofstra University double majoring in journalism and sociology. She's grown to love interviewing and feature writing after interning at  non-profits, Cosmopolitan Magazine, MTV News and the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. She is the Campus Correspondent of HC Hofstra as well as an active member in the Hofstra Association of Black Journalists, Ed2010 Hofstra and the Society of Collegiate Journalists. She loves dancing with her on-campus team, Imani Dance Ensemble, and has an incurable addiction to shoes, Boston sports teams and Japanese barbeque. Follow Sidney on Twitter, @Sid_Madden!
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