What to know when you attend a career fair

Whether you’re about to graduate or you’re just a freshman discovering college, you can always benefit from attending career fairs. Representatives from companies attend these fairs offering internship positions as well as full time employment opportunities.

If you never explore you’ll never know what’s out there. Photo from Creative Commons.

Here are some things to keep in mind when attending a career fair.

1) Know a little something about the companies that will be there

Usually a full list of the companies and businesses that will be attending a career fair will be published on the website of the university hosting the event. These lists will sometimes even specifically include what majors/fields the attending companies are hiring from.

After formal introductions, some representatives may ask you what you know about their company. Knowing basic facts goes a long way in distinguishing you from other students.

2) Talk to as many people as possible.

Career fairs are a fantastic way to build your networking skills and create connections with people. You can increase your possibilities for employment by establishing a solid professional contact base, and career fairs are a great place to start.

3) Dress the part.

Dress as you would for an interview or any other professional event. For guys, a button-down shirt with a tie, slacks and dress shoes will suffice. For girls, a knee-length skirt and blazer with a pair of low-heeled shoes will do the trick.

4) Bring a copy of your resumé.

A mistake many people make is not bringing any or enough copies of their resumé. Although you can always email your resumé to an employer, it makes you look better if you have one on the spot.

5) Collect as many business cards and handouts as possible.

At a career fair you’re going to be talking to many different people, making it hard to remember the name of every person you talked to. Collect as many cards and pamphlets as possible to review them after the event.

Remember, speak with confidence and enthusiasm and portray yourself in a positive light.