I'm actually preparing for a career fair that's coming up, so I stopped and talked to a career counselor for tips. I can't emphasize how crucial it is to make a good impression and to be prepared when speaking with a company looking to hire someone. The tips that were given to me are pretty straight forward and to the point. Here are the points you should have covered when attending a job or career fair:
- Tailor you resume to every employer. If you have any classes, volunteer work, skills, etc. that are specific and fit the description of the job you're applying for; include that on your resume for each different job.
- Be specific in your objective. For example: if you're looking to work full-time as the front desk manager of the company; make sure your objective states exactly that.
- Cover letters are optional. I always wondered about cover letters, but apparently, it won't hurt you if you don't include one. Some employers will only read your resume, and some employers won't read your resume unless you have a good cover letter. Don't stress it! If you want to include a cover letter; you can. It won't hurt you if you have one, and if you do include one; get it reviewed by a career counselor, someone at your career center, or even someone who will know everything that needs to be included in your cover letter and who can give you feedback for improvements.
- Make sure to have several copies of your resume. You might not have the information needed to tailor your resume specifically to every job, but make sure you have plenty of copies to give to employers.
- Dress professionally! That should go without saying, and if you need tips on how to dress see my Interview/Professional Attire for Men and Women post.
- Make sure to get a business card or contact information from each employer.
- Practice your “elevator pitch.” Be ready to explain why you chose the field you want to work in, why you want to work for that company, and your long term goals.
I hope these tips help you when you get ready to attend your job or career fair. Make sure to practice those speeches. Speak clearly, loud enough, and don't rush it. Good luck!
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