Career Fair Advice For The College Student
By Khadejah Stegall
Khadejah is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.
Career fairs can seem overwhelming with everyone trying to talk to recruiters and give their pitch. Although Career fairs can be like a hunger game, they are great ways to establish a relationship with a recruiter to get your foot in the door at a company. There are simple actions that get overlooked when people are preparing for career fairs or networking events. As recruiting season abounds, here are nine tactics that can be done to stand out.
1. Update your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn and brand on all social platforms
You should always be updating your resume and making it marketable to the company you would like to apply for. Look at the duties of the job you are interested in and what they look for. For example, if a company is really big on innovation, you should have something on your resume about how you exemplified innovation. While your resume should be updated, you should clean up your social media. Your brand should be well represented on social platforms just in case a recruiter decides to look you up.
2. Do research on companies that interest you and follow them on social media
Research the company that you would like to for. What projects are they working on? What is the company culture? Look at the company’s values so you can tell a recruiter how they match with yours. Follow companies on social media so you can see their style and how they interact online. Make sure you are knowledgeable about a company’s products and what services they offer.
3. Apply for positions at companies you are interested in before the fair
One thing that impresses a recruiter is when you tell them what you are interested in, how you already applied to a position and why you think you would be a good fit for the position. Tell the recruiter how the position matches with your skills, what you achieved in the past and how it is relevant to the job or field you applied for.
4. Dress to impress
It takes 3.5 seconds for someone to judge your appearance so come dressed to impress so someone will remember you.
5. Ask for recruiters’ emails to follow up and follow them on LinkedIn
Most of the time, recruiters will not have business cards because why give them out when many people won’t even follow up? Ask for the recruiter’s email address and follow them on LinkedIn to stay connected with them. Be sure to send them a follow-up email thanking them for their time and keeping in touch.
6. Be overprepared
Bring extra copies of your resume, business cards, chargers, mints and pens to take notes and any relevant documents that you can show to a recruiter.
7. Ask thoughtful questions
Don’t ask, “What do you do for Company _____. If you did your research, you may see that the recruiter was at the company for X amount of years. You could ask a recruiter, “Hey, you’ve been at Company ___ for a while! What kept you there so long and what were your best and most challenging times at the company?” This makes the recruiter talk about themselves and you also get a better feel if the company is for you!
8. Ask for the interview
If the company has on-site interviews and the rapport is going well, you should ask for the interview! I've seen people get interviews from asking recruiters if they have any more open spots.
9. Bring your confidence
Walk in the career fair with confidence and a positive mindset. Job hunting is hard, but stay positive and your hard work will pay off!
What are ways you stand out at a career fair?
Khadejah Stegall is a college mommy blogger that inspires others to achieve the impossible through the power of Jesus. She enjoys family time, eating vegan meals when it's convenient and mentoring others on professional development. To be inspired by more post, follow her blog at khadejahstegall.com.