One of the things college students worry about is getting a job – and not just any kind of job – a job that makes them feel fulfilled. A career fair allows students to find a potential employer or sponsor. It’s like a job interview but for college students and the greatest mistake one could make is to go unprepared. You need to prepare your mind to nail your pitch, but it’s more than that. It comes down to your dressing, your smile, posture, and a whole lot of other things. This article will help you find some of those things you might miss when preparing for a college fair.
Important Career Tips for College Students
- Prepare the outfit: Don’t go on a closet destruction spree for the perfect outfit. What you need isn’t a nice outfit; you need smart and professional dressing. Stick with minimal colors, but at the same time, don’t be boring. You need the employers to remember you for something. Keep neat, clean, put-together, and of course, like you have something valuable to offer.
- Update your Resume: Everyone learns every day and you might have learned new skills you want to add. Check through your resume to make sure that you have properly and professionally sold yourself the best way possible with all your skills, qualifications, and experience levels. Add some of your accomplishments if you have and make sure that you have enough printed for 10 to 20 employers. If you have ever worked a seasonal job during your gap year, be sure to put it in the resume.
- Research on the employers that would be at the fair: If you can, ask about the employers that would be around – what they do, their companies, what they are looking for, the kind of skills they need, and so on. This will make for a great conversation when they begin to engage you in a discussion. However, be careful not to sound like you stalked them online.
- Prepare the pitch: Your pitch is like a short elevator speech that is about a minute or two minutes long but captivates a potential employer. See it as an audio resume where you highlight your value to their company. Though this can be slightly hard to figure out, practice as many times as you can and ask your teachers, family, and friends for advice.
- Be on time: You might think ‘but the fair doesn’t start till 8’. If you want to land the front seat, you need to be on time. Campus job fairs are always crowded with smart pants and you wouldn’t want the employers meeting with you when they are exhausted.
- Be attentive during interviews: Most times, students have already prepared a list of possible questions they’ll be asked during interviews – and though this can be great for practice, it makes some of them give correct answers for a different question. During interviews, listen carefully to the questions, understand them, and ask them to repeat if it’s not clear. Avoid jumping to answers, understand the question first, and give a coordinated and correct response.
- Ask questions after: This is what sets you apart from other students at the fair. Asking questions makes the employer feel that you understand his or her company and you are interested in adding value and not just getting a working space. Most times, they remember these questions and put you in mind for a hire.
- Ask for ways to stay in touch: Part of asking questions is asking for a business card, an email, or a phone number that you can reach them on. Ask also, for the best times and medium to reach out. Some employers prefer phone calls while others might prefer emails.
- Keep in touch: Finally, it’s not enough to ask for the medium, you should also follow up with those you feel were particularly interested in you. Why? You may ask. Most times, (especially if you arrived early), potential employers would have interviewed so many people that you will be almost forgotten. Following up with prospective clients will help you remind in sight.
A career fair can be the most competitive, overwhelming, and stressful part of being a grown-up in college. The worst is that sometimes, you might not even get a potential employer to look your way for a long time while you wait in your stand. However, keep a positive vibe and follow all the tips that have been mentioned above. Just remember to highlight the best things about yourself while you keep a great smile.