It’s that time of year again when career fairs are about to start going full force. It is always an interesting exercise in people watching, to say the least. Since I’m looking for several interns this year, I thought I’d share seven job fair tips for college students. This isn’t necessarily a comprehensive list, but is a starting place. Please feel free to add your tips to the comments boxes as well.
1. Research your Targets.
Research the companies who will be there, and prioritize which ones you want to talk to first. That way, you make sure you talk to the employers that interest you the most.
2. Keep an Open Mind.
Be open to other companies that are not on your target list at the career fair. There are frequently excellent employers that you’ve never heard of, who may be an awesome choice – but only if you look their way.
3. Dress Professionally, but Comfortably.
You want to look professional, but not be so overheated and uncomfortable that you are miserable. That comes right through when you are meeting potential employers.
Bring lots of copies of your resume, and be prepared to turn them over.
5. Be Prepared to be Told to Apply Online
We use an online resume submission engine at my employer. I’m sure most other large corporations do the same. You will need to submit your resumes there as well.
6. Budget Plenty of Time, so You are Not in a Rush.
Take your time, and try to give yourself as much time as you need to see all of the employers present.
7. Bring a folder for your Resumes, and a Swag Bag.
You’ll probably have the opportunity to collect plenty of swag. Most companies hand it out as a marketing or promotional tool. Make sure you’re prepared to take it with you, if you would like to collect – bring an attractive bag to collect it in. Keep your resumes in an easily accessible folder, in your left hand, with that swag bag tucked neatly over your shoulder. You can use your right hand to shake hands and to hand out resumes.
I’ve got plenty more ideas, but these job fair tips for students should get you pointed in the right direction.