One of the top ways to get a first internship or even your first job post-graduation is because of connections you make at job fairs. There are certain preparatory measures one can take to get the most out of each event, here are some of them:
- Read up: If your university provides a list of the employers that will be attending the fair, be familiar with them beforehand; be sure that you’re aware of the different companies and the positions they are offering. Maybe a company you weren’t familiar with has an open position that’s perfect for you.
- Print multiple copies of your resume: Print more than you think you need. Better safe than sorry. You will use them in the future.
- Dress appropriately: business casual is always a safe way to go. You don’t need to look like you’re going to an interview, but you want to reflect a put together, serious student. It is better to be dressed to formally than informally.
- Don’t forget to bring a folder, and pick up any pamphlet offered: keep track of the people you encounter. You might not have to do a lot of writing, because each company may have brochures, business cards, and pamphlets that you will not want to lose. So unless you bring a notepad to write everything down, a folder is a great way to keep things organized.
- Do not forget your personality: yes, these employers are looking for a hardworking person, but they also want unique people, with different frames of mind and ideas. Express yourself as if you were selling yourself, because in essence, that’s exactly what’s going on.
Job fairs are the gateway to any sort of experience. The people you meet might be your first big break in any industry. Keep track of those Twitter handles, blogs, and contact information you collect at these events, and remember: whenever a job fair comes around, don’t forget that it just might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. So prepare accordingly.