When it comes to networking with employers, campus career fairs are a must. As a student, it is best to start early in your college tenure and make your presence known while in school.
It is not as easy as it sounds, though. From navigating your way through the mass of students to finding employers you are interested in, attending career fairs can be stressful because you only have so much time to make a great first impression.
Make a plan and know what to do at your next career fair. Follow the below list of college career fair tips so you can stand out amongst your peers.
College career fair tips:
1. Update your LinkedIn profile
If you do not have one – create one! Career Services at your school is a great resource to help get you started and prepare for your networking experience.
Once your profile is up and running, make sure to connect with companies you are interested in. If you know which companies will be attending the career fair, research them on LinkedIn.
And for a bonus, you can write thank you emails to those that you connect with after you meet them.
2. Practice how you are going to approach employers
Make a great first impression by practicing your elevator pitch. Call your phone and leave a voicemail so you can hear yourself.
Employers at career fairs speak to hundreds of students who are looking for jobs. Think about how you can make yourself stand out and leave a lasting impression.
3. Update your resume and job experience
Update your resume and have at least 20 copies on hand. Some employers are even asking students to now put their information into tablets for an easier candidate experience, so make sure you know all your previous work experience. Technology is the leading disruptor in the career fair experience!
If you do not have a resume made or if you are looking for someone to review the one you have, Career Services is a great resource to use.
4. Take advantage of all opportunities
The earlier you start attending career fairs, the better. Most companies send the same alumni year-over-year to career fairs, if possible, to start building networks and connections with students.
Attend as a freshman. Many companies are freshman-friendly, like Schneider, and are looking to help first-year students get internships.
5. Step outside your comfort zone
Be transparent and be you. It is important to understand, all the individuals who are representing companies at your career fair have been in the same shoes you are currently in.
So, do not be nervous – we WANT to talk to you!
6. Determine the dress code
In the past, I would have simply recommended to dress professionally. However, more career fairs are moving to a more casual dress code so students who are coming from class or a sports practice feel like they can still attend.
Stop by your college’s Career Services to see what the dress code is for the upcoming career fair. They will give you a better idea if you should dress business professional or business casual.
Looking for an internship?
Whether you met one of our associates at a career fair or heard about Schneider from somewhere else, learn more about our internship opportunities by clicking the link below.