Finding a job right out of University is a daunting task that seems to be getting tougher on graduates every year. One job finding approach that has proved successful over the years has been job fairs, which may be offered at your University. Some quality preparation and understanding of the process can make any job fair more useful and potentially a bigger success for you.
How can I stand out from the ‘crowd’ at a job fair?
One of the best ways to stand out is to dress and appear to already be in the professional workforce. Be prepared, polite, dress well, and be independent. You are much more likely to strike up conversations and make contacts on your own, with a professional air about you, than in your college sweatshirt surrounded by your drinking buddies. Why not get some business cards produced showing your contact details, phone number and email address – it shows you are keen to appear professional and stand-out.
What do employers want anyways?
Remember, they are there for high caliber people like you and are always on the look out for new talent. You should not just go in blind. Have a little confidence. Bring your resume. Talk with recruiters. Walk the fair and be confident. Networking is a must these days, so even if all you gain is practice, it is well worth it.
How do I prepare for job fairs?
Looking and sounding your best is key. Prepare your ‘elevator speech’ so if you are approached or asked questions about your goals and future, you have a great 2-3 sentence answer prepared. Practice the most commonly asked questions about you, your course and your career aspirations ahead of time – this will make it so much easier to get a good conversation started at the job fair.
Transitioning from a student to the professional workforce is hard, but it is going to happen. Try to take opportunities such as job fairs in your stride, and be your very best from day one. After all, you’ve worked for this opportunity!