How to Conquer the Career Expo

UCF Career Services is hosting the Fall 2017 Career Expo on Tuesday, September 26 from 10am to 3pm at the CFE Arena. This event is a great opportunity for you to meet with employers in person and discuss your future with their company. Whether it’s your first time attending the Career Expo, or if you’re an Expo veteran, it’s important to know what you can do to prepare for the big day.

Here are some tips on how to conquer the Career Expo:

Before the Expo:

  • Know the Employers. Over 200 employers are attending this event! Take note of who these employers are via Handshake. You can also download the UCF Career Fair Plus app so you can easily view where the employers are located in the CFE Arena. This app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

  • Practice Your Pitch. Your pitch is a clear and concise explanation of who you are, your professional experience, and your goals. It’s important for your future employer to get a feel of your personality as well as know what you’ve done and where you’re headed.

  • Warm Up Rounds. Once you know who will be at the Expo, choose at least three employers that you do NOT have an interest in working for in the future. Once you are at the Expo, make sure to visit these employers first! Think of these stops as warm up rounds where you can practice your pitch and shake off any early interview anxiety. It’s best to get any potential mistakes out of your way at the beginning of the Expo with employers that you are not serious about so that you don’t make these mistakes with the employers that you are serious about.

  • Do Your Research. Learn as much as you can about the companies that you DO have an interest in working for in the future. It is important to have knowledge about these potential employers so you can ask questions and engage in a conversation with them at the Expo.

  • Resume. Bring multiple copies of your resume. You can get an idea about how many copies you may need by knowing which booths you plan to visit at the Expo. If you need help with developing your resume, or if you need to refine it, you can always visit Career Services for extra assistance.

  • Dress to Impress. This event is business professional. Looking the part is of course important, but so is your comfort. Make sure you feel confident in your outfit.

  • Stand Out. Consider purchasing a professional name tag at The Spot, which is an on-campus store located in the Breezeway that provides name badges, plaques, desk plates, and more. A name tag will add to your professional ensemble and help you stand out at the Expo.

At the Expo:

  • Remain Calm. Many people will be at this event, so it can be a little overwhelming at first, but remain calm and stay focused.

  • First Visits. Remember to first visit the booths that do NOT interest you so that you can warm up before you visit the booths that DO interest you.

  • Patience is Key. The lines for the booths that you want to go to may be long, but be patient. Remember that you’re in line to meet with your potential future employer! The wait will be worth it.

  • First Impressions Matter. Don’t forget to give employers a firm handshake when you first meet them as well as at the end of the interaction when you thank them for their time. The employers are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn as much as you can, while you can. Maintain eye contact with the employer, be prepared to hand them your resume, and of course, don’t forget to smile!

  • A Must Need. Be sure to receive business cards or other forms of information from employers so you can stay in contact with them.

  • Network. Be open to the fact that you may talk to or visit more people than you initially planned. These expos are not only a great way to jumpstart your career, but they also provide you with the opportunity to network with many professionals in many fields.

After the Expo:

  • Keep in Touch. Get back to employers within 24 hours. Send emails that let them know that you met with them. You can also connect with employers via LinkedIn.

  • Treat Yourself. You’ll undoubtedly leave the event with a greater sense of confidence. The Career Expo is a big deal, so give yourself a pat on the back for attending, especially if it’s your first time! Take pride in the fact that you are taking steps towards reaching your goals in your professional career. Treat yourself-- you deserve it!

The Career Expo may seem intimidating at first, but it’s a great opportunity to put yourself out there and to try something that is out of your comfort zone. The experience itself is undoubtedly beneficial for you in more ways than one, so be sure to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and learn as much as you can from it.

Good luck at the Career Expo! You’ve got this!

For more information about the Fall 2017 Career Expo, visit Events at UCF.


Photo Credit: Cover, 1