Tips For Making the Most of a Career Fair

With the career fair coming up soon, here are some tips for you:

Before the Career Fair

11. Research the companies that you want to speak with. Before you go to the career fair, you should do some basic research on what the company does. This way you can spend your time telling the company representative about yourself, rather than asking them questions about what their company does.

When choosing which companies to speak with, be open minded; just because you have never heard of a company doesn’t mean that they don’t have something great to offer. Make sure that you prioritize the companies that you want to speak with, you don’t want to run out of time.

22. Prepare questions to ask employers. After you have researched which companies you want to talk to, come up with some questions that you have for them. These could be specific to positions that they have open, or more general questions about what it is like to work there. You should also come up with some general questions for companies that catch your eye at the fair that you had not already researched.

At the Career Fair

3. Attend the Career Fair alone. However, don’t push yourself. If this is your first career fair, you don’t want to discourage yourself by being uncomfortable. If you have never been to a career fair, instead of walking in and talking to someone right away, walk around the room for a little and get a feel of the environment. Once you are comfortable, start talking to an employer.

4. Treat it like an in-person interview. Proper business attire is crucial, no bold colored blazers! Make sure that you are acting professional the entire time you are in the room. The employers are always watching and if you just had a great conversation with them but then went and goofed off across the room, they may notice that and count it against you.

35. Remember that the employers are people too. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. The days at the career fair are just as long, if not longer for them. They are here to find candidates from our school, so make their trip, and your trip, worthwhile.

6. Be honest. This includes any experience you have had. Employers can sense when you’re being superficial. However, don’t be embarrassed by what experience you have. Everyone needs to start somewhere and even if you only have a little experience, you could still be a great candidate.

7. Know what makes you unique. You are unique and you have something great to offer an employer. Use this to your advantage. Employers want to know why you would be the best fit for the positions at their company. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself, this is the perfect setting for it.

8. Know what you are looking for. This could be a full-time position for after graduation, a summer internship, a part-time position, or an internship that starts right away. You should also know what you want to get out of the opportunity and center questions around that (i.e. networking, professional experience, professional or personal growth).

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9. Keep track of who you talk to and what you talk about. Write this information down to follow up after. Make sure you have specific notes of what you talked about, i.e. the recruiter and I talked about how we both had pet goldfish when we were kids. It doesn’t have to be something career related, but you want the employer to remember who you are.

 After the Career Fair

10. Follow up. Make sure that you follow up with the employers you talk to. This could include an email, or a formal thank you letter. Just make sure that when you are following up, you reference something that you talked about when talking with the employer, this could help them remember you.

Follow up with all employers, even ones that you may not be interested in. Just because you don’t want to work for their company now, doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be a great resource or connection in the future.

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Friday Favorites – 5 Professional Outfits for Women

For my last Friday Favorites blog post, I decided to feature some of my friends and coworkers in their favorite interview outfit. I’ve added some tips so you can see why they work, and maybe these outfits will inspire you to dress professionally when you have an interview, networking event or your first day of your new job coming up!

Outfits 5

Outfits 4

Outfits 2

Outfits 3

Outfits 1 Photos by UWW Career.

Friday Favorites – Interview Outfits for Men & Women

So you’ve scored an interview – that’s great! Now, the tough part is deciding what to wear to said interview. For this week’s Friday Favorites, the theme is how to dress for an interview. Check out these six great links with tons of tips on how to dress for an interview, divided into a men’s and women’s section:

Men

Hey guys, are you stuck on how to dress for a job interview? We’ve got you covered. This gallery provides ten tips on how to dress – Interview Outfits for Men

This great link will give men tips for how to dress for three different interviews – smart casual, casual, and corporate. You can even click on each article of clothing or accessory and it will take you right to where you can purchase it – 3 Interview Getups

Need a quick overview on grooming and accessories, as well as a few more tips about what to wear? This article has it all – Men’s Interview Attire

Women

While dark pantsuits are the norm for what women should wear to job interviews, you shouldn’t be afraid to dress it up a little and let some of your personality shine through! This gallery provides ten different outfits for interviews – Interview Outfits for Women

We all know that you need to dress professionally for a job interview. College Fashion provides us with three awesome outfit ideas for conservative industries, creative industries, and fashion industries, as well as a dozen tips at the end of the article – How To Dress for a Job Interview

Are you on the pursuit for the perfect pantsuit? This article has a ton of resources to help with your fashion-conscious hunt – The Hunt: Navy Suits

Now that you have some idea of how you can dress for your interview, go out there with confidence!

Friday Favorites – 5 Pinterest Pages on What to Wear to a Career Fair

Every Friday will mark a new lineup on the Career Spotlight Blog. We will show five favorite links, articles, blogs, infographics, or pictures that connect with our theme of the month.

The Hawk Career Fair is coming up next week Wednesday and many of you might be stumped on how to dress for a career fair. No worries – we’ve got you covered. Check out these five awesome Pinterest pages with tips, advice and great links so you can look your best.

What to Wear – Women 

What to Wear – Men

Interview Attire for Men and Women

Professional Outfit Sets for Women

Outfits for an Interview

Going to an Interview {Outfit Post}

Don’t forget – the Hawk Career Fair is next Wednesday from 1-4pm in the Williams Center – Gym 1. There will be 114 businesses looking for interns and full time workers.

See you there!

Why Do You Want to Work for Our Company?

How many of you think about this question BEFORE you step up to an organization’s booth at a career fair?

Question mark sign

What attracts you to that booth? If you’ve done your research ahead of time, this question can be answered fairly simply. They have the prestigious name you’d like to work for. The work seems interesting and satisfying. There are benefits with the job. They have job or internship openings.

You are just looking for a place to land… Sorry, this last one is wrong! It implies you didn’t do your job ahead of time to research the companies that were coming to the fair. Let’s take a little look at how you can prepare ahead of time for the career fair.

  • Know what you’re looking for – Do you want an Internship? A job? What type of company would you like to work for? What do you want to do? What skills do you want to learn/use?  Think ideal internship/job. You can always adjust your criteria as you start your research.
  • Know who’s coming to the fair – Most career fairs will provide a list of the companies and organizations that are planning to attend. Research the companies/organizations to find which ones match (or come closest) your ideal list. Then, figure out if you meet their ideal list (they have expectations, too).
  • Put together your resume – This is a general resume that covers your skills, abilities, accomplishments, etc. It will appeal to a wider range of employers than the resume you will send when applying to a specific company for a specific job. Career & Leadership Development can help you. Schedule an appointment (phone: 262-472-1471; in person – UC 146) or email it for a review. Be sure to have another set of eyes look at your resume.
  • Print your resume on resume paper – Don’t print multiple page resumes back-to-back or staple pages together. In general, a one-page resume, well-written, should be sufficient for a career fair. Make enough copies for the employers you plan on seeing, plus a couple of extra “just in case” resumes.
  • Dress properly – Business dress is always appropriate, but at least come in business casual. You’re trying to make a good impression.
  • Practice your elevator speech – Tell me about yourself in 30 to 60 seconds.

Best of luck to you at this year’s Multicultural Career Fair!

Additional Information & Tips:

Photo by Colin Kinner.

How to Dress for a Career Fair

“Put your best foot forward.” “First impressions count.” “Dress for success.”

No matter how you say it, it does matter what you wear to a career fair. Whether you’re a senior, looking for your first, entry-level position, an underclassman looking for an internship, or a freshman who’s just looking to see what all the fuss is about, it’s important to be properly dressed for the occasion.

The Hawk Career Fair is coming up on Wednesday, September 28th and we want you to attend. However, if you aren’t appropriately dressed, someone is going to ask you to change into something more appropriate. What is appropriate? Look at some of these suggestions:

  • According to Monster.com, “The US Department of Labor says 16 percent to 18 percent of all job seekers find jobs at career fairs. So the reality is that your formal interview begins the moment the person behind the booth lays eyes on you.”
  • According to EmploymentGuide.com: “Business Casual is usually the most appropriate at job fair – nice slacks and a collared shirt for men (a tie is a good idea too) and nice slacks or a skirt and a blouse for women are appropriate. Make sure your clothes are clean and pressed. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry or clothing that is too short or revealing.”
  • Ehow.com suggests, among other things:  “Wear interview attire. In some cases business casual attire is also appropriate, but it’s better to err on the side of caution. Potential employers are much more impressed with those who overdress than those who are under-dressed.”

If, like me, you are more visual, here are a couple of sites with pictures:

My own piece of personal observation: Don’t forget to wear dress shoes (make sure they’re comfortable and polished)!

Photo by: brennuskrux