Friday Favorites – Career Fair To-Dos

The Hawk Career Fair, an annual event hosted by Career & Leadership Development, is less than a week away! To get you prepared for the event, here are some last minute to-dos.

Career Fair The George 2012

Do Your Research

Get Professional

  • Make sure you have at least a dozen copies of your resume. Bonus points if it is printed on thick resume paper!
  • Take a stack of your finest business cards with you. Secure them with a paperclip.
  • For women, go for a pantsuit, skirt, or dress. Blazers are a very smart option as well.
  • For men, slacks, dress shoes, a button-down and tie are recommended.
  • Employers aren’t looking for flashy jewelry, fishnet tights or stripper shoes. Keep it classy.
  • Make sure you have something to carry all of your resumes, business cards, and freebies in. This can be a professional tote, a padfolio, or even a simple, plain folder will do.

Practice, Practice, Practice

  • Practice your elevator speech over and over until you feel totally comfortable saying it to a potential employer
  • Do you have a million achievements on your resume? Okay, overachiever, slow down. Talk about only a couple of them to each employer.
  • If you’re not used to walking in heels and you’re planning on wearing heels to the Fair, practice walking around your house in your heels. And make sure you break in your new shoes before the big day!
  • Try on your career fair outfit the day before to make sure you don’t have any loose threads, stickers, or tags sticking out.
  • Have trouble making eye contact with others, making conversation, or shaking hands? Practice these things with a friend.

Calm Your Nerves

  • When you’re about to head into the Career Fair or in between rounds, take five deep breaths.
  • Remember – it’s not the end of the world if you mess up on your elevator speech, or stutter on your name or major.
  • Keep a smile on your face. If you’re too nervous to, at the very least, don’t frown. Nobody will want to talk to – or hire – a nervous Nelly or angry Allen.
  • Stay positive and focused. It is hard to stay focused when there will be over 100 employers and even more students, but keeping a positive mind can help you shine above the rest.

Last Tips to Keep in Mind

  • While chewing a piece of gum is smart while you’re walking to the career fair (you do not want dragon breath at the career fair!), make sure you spit it out before you take one step in the gym.
  • Turn your cell phone on silent. The last thing you want is to be interrupted by your friend’s snapchat of their cat while you’re talking to an employer.
  • Make the most of your time. You might only get to talk to an employer for 10 minutes or so. Network with as many employers as you can, and keep an eye on the time.
  • Eat before you attend the career fair! You definitely don’t want your stomach to be growling when you talk to your dream company about your involvement with student government.
  • Make sure you follow up. By this, I mean e-mail the employer you talked to thanking them for their time and ask any questions you might have.
  • In retrospect, going to a career fair is kind of like a mini-interview. If you get a call back asking you for a real interview, celebrate! You made it through the first round.

 Photo by USC Upstate.