Quick Tips for Career Fairs!
With the WWU Fall Career Fair right around the corner, it's time to brush up on some professional tips to help your chances of standing out to potential employers!
If you want to stand out among the candidates, make sure to do your homework on the companies you’re applying to. Visit their website, read up on the news, and get a general feel for what the company is all about. Usually, the principles that guide the mission statement of a firm align with the qualities of their ideal candidate. Understanding a company’s place in its industry is impressive to recruiters, and acts as a great conversation catalyst to maintain an interesting dialogue!
Most career fairs, including those hosted by Western, often carry a vibe of enthusiastic professionalism. You’re making a first impression that could potentially lead to interviews, so dress for success! For guys, a suit and tie is probably the best option. If you don’t have a suit, a dress shirt and slacks is also suitable. For ladies, dress pants, skirts (at or below the knee), and fitted blouses are okay. Closed toed shoes are also recommended for professional dress. Keep in mind that your form of attire at event like the career fair doesn’t have too drastic of an effect on the outcome. However, dressing in your business best shows your desire to put your best foot forward and that you’re invested enough to prepare for the event.
Approaching an employer
One stressful aspect of a career fair can be interacting with company recruiters. A useful tactic to have under your belt is to prepare a short spiel about who you are. Try to condense your background, education, and qualifications into a 1-2 minute pitch, and try to work parts of it into your conversation with recruiters. Another significant part of your conversation with an employer is whether you are noticeably enthusiastic about the company. The best thing you can do is to carry a tone of confidence and show genuine interest in the position you are applying for. It’s not a good idea to overly puff up your image, or come off too zealous. Often, the characteristic that sticks with many recruiters is authenticity, enthusiasm, and confidence.
What to bring
Bring several copies of your resume with you, neatly transported in a folder or binder of some kind. You don’t want to hand any potential employer a wrinkled resume! A binder can also serve to carry around information the employers hand out.
Overall, career fairs can be quite fruitful events, not to mention a fun way to network with employers and future students! Research your top interests, come prepared, and have fun with it!