Sweat the Small Stuff: Considerations for your Career Fair Checklist

Resumes. Check.
Ironed professional attire. Check
Talking points and elevator pitch. Check
A 13-gallon bag for free pens and highlighters… Check.

With the Hawk Career Fair less than three days away, the above questions may be similar to your pre-career fair checklist. It is a great practice to plan prior to the career fair through researching employers, revising your resume, and developing your elevator pitch. However, make sure you have considered the common concerns, such as updated copies of a resume, as well as those seemingly small concerns.

Career Fair 3

Benjamin Franklin once said, “A small leak can sink a great ship”. Here are a few seemingly small concerns that contribute to career fair success:

Avoid the SWAG

  • On first glance, this phrase goes against everything that popular culture tells us. At career fairs, employers’ tables are filled with SWAG (Stuff We All Get) and it is tempting to re-stock on pens and to pick up a few snack size candy bars. The career fair is the time to showcase your skills and network with employers. So, be sensible with SWAG: ask for a pen or two, accept SWAG when offered, but keep your eyes on the prize.

Take Notes

  • One student can easily connect with 5-10 employers within an hour. Each conversation may bring a different outcome including an offer to follow-up by e-mail or information about an unlisted job. After an hour of career fair stimulation one can easily forget this information. Be sure to carry a small note pad or use a padfolio to keep notes of conversations you have with employers.

Leave your Wingman at the Door

  • While you may travel to the career fair with a friend, avoid connecting with employers in groups. This can cause a myriad of challenges and detract from your own attempt at expressing your skills and interest in an employer.

Collect Cards

  • Employers attend the career fair to learn more about students and find potential interns and employees, so naturally they are interested in networking and receiving resumes following conversations. Similarly, make sure you get the contact information of the recruiters you speak with by asking for a card after each conversation.

No Need for Aromas

  • In many ways, career fairs should be treated like interviews. In interviews, you do not want your perfume to bring your interviewer to tears or cause a coughing attack. In the same way, be considerate to other career fair goers and recruiters. Avoid colognes, perfumes, and smoking prior to the career fair.

These are just a few considerations to place on your checklist. If you have not already prepared for the Hawk Career Fair, schedule an appointment with Career and Leadership Development. Also, as you are entering the Hawk Career Fair on Wednesday, feel free to stop by Career and Leadership Development’s table at the entrance for a last check. Doing the small things right can lead to grand opportunities!

See you at the Hawk Career Fair!

Photo by UWW Career.