How to Crush the Career Fair
In light of Temple University's Klein College of Media and Communication career fair today, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my tips and tricks that have helped me out over the years!
Before the career fair:
Research all of the companies that you are interested in that will be at the career fair. Do not waste your time or the company's time if you are not interested in a career there.
2. Make a list
Make a list of the companies attending that you are most interested in and know what their company does. That means being familiar with their most recent projects, seeing their social media presence, and ultimately knowing what they are looking for in their employees.
3. Your resume
Print out at least ten copies of your resume on resume paper. Resume paper is essential. It is a small feature that can make a big difference. When these companies are going through a giant stacks of resumes at the end of the day, your nice resume paper can be a game-changer because it shows that you put in that extra effort.
*Also always get your resume looked over at the career center. I try and go there at least once a semester!
**The career center will print out your resume on resume paper for free!
Yup, you need one. Nothing looks more unprofessional than clutching an old, beat-up binder while chatting with a potential employer. I use it to hold all of my resumes, keep my list of the employers I want to check out, write questions or notes regarding the companies there, and it is a good spot to hold on to the business cards people will give you. Make sure you bring your padfolio with you when you go on interviews, too!
*I'm pretty sure Temple's career center sells them for $10 which is a STEAL! Definitely utilize this!
During the career fair:
1. Your name tag
Pro tip: place your name tag on the right side of your chest rather than the left side. When you go in to shake someone's hand, 99% of the time it is with your right hand. It is much easier for the employer to see your name when it is in a direct line of vision with your handshake.
2. Thank them for coming
The first thing you should say after the initial hello is, "Thank you for being here." Tell the employer/person representing the company that you appreciate them taking the time out of their busy schedule to be at this career fair.
3. Always get a business card
Remember to get a business card from whoever you are speaking to so that you can follow up with them afterwards!
4. Take notes
Another pro tip: as soon as your done speaking to someone, go to an empty space (a corner or even just to the side somewhere) and write down something specific you talked to them about on the business card they gave you. If you talked about a certain campaign they did, a shirt they were wearing, whatever it may be! Make yourself stand out when following up with them by making it personal.
After the fair:
1. Utilize those business cards
Email, email, email! Use those business cards that you gathered from the career fair and send a follow-up email. I always give myself the 48-hour rule - AKA you have 48 hours to follow up or you will be forgotten.
2. Perfect the email
Sometimes it can seem intimidating to follow up with someone, but don't let it be! The worst that can happen is that they don't respond, which is no big deal. A rough draft of what I would write would go something like this:
My name is XYZ and we met yesterday at the XYZ career fair. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to you about *insert personal anecdote you wrote on their business card*. X seems like a wonderful company because XYZ. I greatly appreciated that you took the time out of your busy schedule to speak with so many students entering the industry like myself. I would love to further discuss career/internship opportunities at X with you in the near future.
Thank you in advance.
Here is a link for some more examples of following up with potential employers via email: http://www.temple.edu/provost/careercenter/resume/thankyou.html
3. BEFORE YOU HIT SEND
Before you hit send:
- Make sure the email address is correct
- That you have the right name for the person you are emailing
- SPELL CHECK! Emails can and will be forwarded to others. Make sure your email is written well.
- Attach your resume
4. Connect on LinkedIn
Connect with the people you spoke to on LinkedIn after following up with them! Your LinkedIn should act as a living version of your resume.
I also recommend following your career center's social media accounts. They often post about the latest career opportunities or professional workshops. Klein College of Media & Communication's social media platforms that I follow are @KleinCareers on Twitter & @KleinCarrers on Instagram.
Temple University's Career Center and Klein College of Media and Communication’s Career Services office have helped me grow exponentially as a young professional. As a college student, you have access to TONS of resources at your disposal. Make use of them!