A new school year has arrived, fall is rapidly approaching and students across the country are getting ready to put on their best suits and fill the lines at internships and job fairs. For some students, they are readily prepared for these fairs and how to strategically tackle them. For others, this may be there first time and they may need a little help. Here are some great tips to use to tackle an internship and job fair…
Make a target list
A student who navigates a career fair well is a strategic student. Make a target list of the companies you are interested in. Your list should be separated into three parts based on the jobs and internships they are providing and your qualifications: your reach companies, your priority companies and your safety companies.
Your reach companies are those that you are highly interested in, but might not necessarily have a job offer for you or you don’t meet the qualifications. Your priority companies are the ones you are highly interested in and you meet the qualifications, and they are even looking to fill immediately. Your safety companies are those that slightly peaked your interest and you meet some of the qualifications.
Know your 30 second pitch
Giving a firm handshake and introducing yourself well is a way to leave a lasting impression. For the employer, the 30 second pitch, also known as the elevator pitch, is a way to see how well you can present yourself in a limited time and to see your level of professionalism. Your 30 second pitch should include who you are and what you can bring to the table. In an article on forbes.com, the contributor states that the employer “will have their antennas tuned to ‘what’s in it for me?'”
You just dropped your 30 second pitch mentioning what you can bring to the table and the employer is impressed. The next thing they want to see is how well you know their company. This is a career fair and you will have some students going from table to table dropping their resumes off without any knowledge of the company. Set yourself apart and do the research. If this is a digital marketing position, know there latest digital campaigns, know who the department director is and what they’ve done for the company. The more you know, the better.
Know the floor plan
One of the worst things you can do at a career fair is waste your time looking for that particular booth. As a student, you are juggling your class schedule, extracurricular activities and maybe even your work-study job. You want to be able to put as much time in speaking with employers and not getting lost. Most college career fairs provide a floor plan online or at the door. Take a moment to highlight where the companies that you want to visit are located. Visit your priority companies first and then your reach companies. Save your safeties for last.
How are you preparing for the career internships and job fair season? Leave a comment below!