2) DURING: the actual event
Hand out your resume. Have plenty of copies of your polished resume easily accessible (if you choose to distribute your resume). You don’t want to have to put down all the “freebies” you collected to hand someone your resume. If you have two versions of your resumes, color-coding them can be very helpful. Gray, white and off-white are all good choices. A new trend is for employers not to collect resumes on site but to just refer you back to their web-site for on-line resume submission. Try and use the face time at the fair to gather pertinent information to enhance your application.
Thank employers for any brochures or promotional materials you are given. This is not a time to pick up stocking stuffers or birthday gifts for your family. Be reasonable with your consumption of recruiter giveaways.
Collect business cards and jot down a fact on the back to jog your memory when you write a follow-up letter.
Approach an employer representative and introduce yourself. Don’t sit back and wait to be approached. Shake hands, make good eye contact, and tell the employer your name, major, and interests. The more focused you are the better. If you are unsure how you would fit into the organization, ask the employer open-ended yet specific questions. What qualities do you look for in employees? What kind of summer internships are available?
Create a one-minute commercial as a way to sell yourself to an employer. This is a great way to introduce yourself. The goal is to connect your background to the organization’s need. In one minute or less you need to introduce yourself, demonstrate your knowledge of the company, express enthusiasm and interest, and relate your background to the organization’s need, and end with a question. This is meant to be a dialogue NOT a monologue.
Other dos and don’ts:
- Be assertive without being rude
- Be sensitive to others waiting behind you
- Realize that recruiters like to talk to groups
- Maximize your time at the career fair
- Observe other students/employers for clues
- Don’t ask about salary and benefits
- Don’t monopolize someone’s time
- Don’t ask, “What do you have for my major?”
- Don’t exhibit a lack of direction and focus