Career Fair Strategies for Undergraduates
You will want to read this if you’re an undergraduate student with upcoming career fairs on campus. Typically held once a semester, college career fairs offer many summer internships and full-time jobs. These events are great ways to network, meet new companies, and learn about different professional opportunities. Here are a few of my favorite tips to help you stand out amongst the crowd.
Review the published floor plan and create a list of seven to ten companies of interest. Familiarize yourself with where each company’s booth is positioned and set up a game plan to best use your time. If one company’s line is long, go to the next firm on your list. Many campuses allot students’ designated timeframes, and you want to maximize the number of conversations with recruiters.
Have your first conversation with a company that isn’t on your list. Naturally, you may be nervous at the start of the career fair, so use this conversation as a practice round. I’ve often found that past conversations with companies I wasn’t initially interested in went the best because I came across as highly confident and carefree.
Ask for the company representative’s business card. Having their contact information is an excellent opportunity to build up your Rolodex. Reach out to these individuals and keep in touch. You never know what future opportunities this may yield.
Update and print out paper copies of your resume to distribute to companies. If you are interested in one or two, you can draft a cover letter to set you apart. Writing a cover letter is an extra step and not a requirement since you will have the opportunity to speak with the firm’s campus reps.
Do your research. Mentioning a recent company initiative or current event during these initial conversations will impress recruiters.
Preparation and planning will help you maneuver your university’s career fair like a pro. For more helpful career tips, shop Resume All Day’s Interview Preparation guide and subscribe to the network for a FREE copy of the Resume Do’s and Don’ts Guide.