Career fairs are a great way to meet recruiters, network for internships and jobs, and gather company information. Whether you are actively job searching or not, you can take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about what employers have to offer. You have a very short period of time to make a great impression, so make sure to be prepared!
Step 1: Your Resume - Do it Right!
Bring 10 to 12 copies of your resume. Need your resume critiqued before the fair?
- Make an appointment with Counseling and Career Services.
- Come to a Resume Writing Workshop hosted by Academic Resources and Counseling and Career Services.
- Drop your resume off for review at Academic Resources. Counseling and Career Services staff will review it and have it ready for pickup within 24 hours.
- Visit Counseling and Career Services during Resume Walk-In Day.
For more information, stop by Counseling and Career Services, located in Academic Resources (Pope Student Center, lower level), or call 706-272-4429. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be prepared that some employers cannot accept hard copy resumes and will ask you to apply online. This is to comply with federal regulations about the way employers keep data on applicants.
Step 2: Look Sharp
Career Fairs require the same attention to attire as an interview; in essence, career fairs are your first interview. A dark suit is always appropriate. Make sure your clothing is ironed. Wear comfortable, professional, polished shoes.
Cologne, Perfume, & Cosmetics:
Be conservative with perfume and makeup; when in a small space, even a little perfume may be too much (particularly if someone is allergic), so consider not wearing any.
If you can go without your backpack, do so. Carry a portfolio with a notepad, copies of your resume, a pen, and any other pertinent information. If you are also carrying a purse, keep it small. Remember to avoid visible piercings and tattoos.
**TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE & DO NOT CHEW GUM!**
Step 3: Do Your Homework
- Review employers attending the fair on DSCareer Connect (www.myinterfase.com/daltonstate/student)
- Identify your top 3 to 5 employers
- Do some research! Employer research can help you make an informed employment decision, discover if the company is a good match for you, show potential employers your initiative and enthusiasm, answer questions in your interview confidently, and know what questions to ask of the prospective employer
Step 4: Your Approach
- Prepare a "30-Second Commercial": a script that introduces you, states your interest in the organization, and communicates your experience related to the position(s) in which you are interested. Having a planned response that highlights your experiences and strengths in a concise (30 second) blurb will help you portray yourself as confident, prepared, and memorable. If you forget a detail, don't worry. Just remember the major points that you want to convey, which includes the following:
- Your name, major, and class standing at Dalton State
- The skills and experiences you have that connect you with that employer (for example: a related internship, leadership experience, or class project)
- Be confident and network independently. If you go with friends, identify a meeting place outside for after the fair
- Be patient. Do not interrupt the employer or jump into a conversation he/she is having with someone else. Wait your turn; you might even pick up some valuable information as you wait!
- Show enthusiasm. If you are interested or excited about a position, let the company representative know!
- Be prepared. Review the map of employer booths. Be prepared for employers to give you literature and give-away items (pens, cups, t-shirts, etc.). Do not pick up freebies from everyone because that is more to carry; you want to make the impression that you are organized and polished
Bring your pertinent questions. Your questions will depend on your goals (career exploration vs. job search).
Types of Appropriate Questions:
- Characteristics of ideal candidate?
- Hiring projections/trends?
- Staffing needs of your location preferences?
- Travel opportunities/requirements?
Types of Inappropriate Questions:
- What jobs are you offering?
- What is the salary for this position?
- What benefits do you offer?
- What can I do with a major in…?
- What is your background?
Step 5: Closing the Deal
- Collect business cards
- Ask about follow-up: know the next step
- Send an e-mail or written thank-you letter within 24 to 48 hours
LOCATION, HOURS, and CONTACT INFORMATION:
Pope Student Center, inside Academic Resources