I am a big fan of these. The reason I got my first internship (which led me to this amazing first job) was because of a career fair on campus. We found one of our amazing interns Tracey at an internship fair. You hardly ever will get to meet with a bunch of different companies in one place (the internet doesn’t count). AND, there’s always I-don’t-need-it-but-really-really-want-it s.w.a.g.
I’m biased, obviously, but there are some really simple ways to make a huge difference in the way you approach these fairs.
- Go down the list of companies that will be attending and do some homework. Google them. Find them on Facebook and Twitter. Have something to talk about when you get to the table. “So what do you guys do?’ is not the question you want to start with.
- Wear a decent outfit. Business casual is best, but even a pair of nice jeans with a polo shirt or blouse would be better than your gym outfit.
- Don’t walk by, snatch up some s.w.a.g. while you think we aren’t paying attention, and speed walk away without saying a word. I know, our company branded stress balls are really awesome and you absolutely need to have one, but really – that’s just rude.
- Follow up with the employers you met with. Mention something from your conversation that they might remember you by, and attach your resume even if you handed it to them at the fair. Let them know why you’re interested in working for them and why you’d be a great addition to that specific company.
Last thing: don’t just go up to the “popular’ companies. Disney is amazing, but the huge line at their table and appearance at every single career fair in the country means that they are meeting LOTS of people. Check out the local employers and smaller companies that you may not have heard of, your chances of being noticed and remembered are much higher.
If anything with these fairs,you’re learning how to talk to complete strangers that you want to impress.