If you look around, many job hunting opportunities are available to us now, including university-sponsored career fairs and job fairs in the community. Unfortunately for most, career fairs cause anxiety because of the amount of people who attend or because of the pressure people put on themselves to impress employers. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind while attending career fairs.
Types of Career Fairs
Be mindful of the type of career fairs you attend, whether they are on college campuses or in large cities. Campus-sponsored events host company recruiters who specifically look for college students needing a part-time internship during school or a job after graduation. These fairs are great to practice meeting professionals and learning how to talk with them about the field. On a larger scale, major cities host career fairs when many companies’ recruiters are looking for recent graduates or professionals in the field. Recruiters at these fairs are usually looking for employees with more field experience, so they can be competitive and difficult to navigate. Read over this article from collegegrad.com to learn how to deal with the different kinds of career fairs out there
Try to go to career fairs early to get your feet wet and practice talking with employers. Attending career fairs and networking early will make you more comfortable with more important fairs later. When you’re seriously looking for a job or internship, begin preparing for career fairs early by actively researching when they will be. There will usually be a list of companies from your university that will be represented at the fair, so read through the list and decide which companies you want to focus on. Then, work on your resume and talk with on-campus advisors and career counselors about the fair. To get more advice about career fairs and how to prepare for them, read through Mike Profita’s article on about.com...
I’ve mentioned it plenty of times in previous blog posts, but I thought it was time to write a full post specifically about networking. Some students love it, some students hate it, but all students need it. Plenty of benefits come when people network, including contacts with professional people in your area and potentially around the country (depending on where your contacts move), support during grad school and beyond, links to potential employers, and head starts on job hunting at career fairs.