Job fairs can be intimidating when you’re a college student preparing for a lifelong career, especially if it’s your first time. But avoid doing these five things and your job search is sure to begin on the right foot.
1. Backing out last minute
Backing out is an obvious don’t, but it still remains a common happening among those who plan on attending a job fair. Whether it’s nerves, a friend who convinces you not to go, or whatever, avoid this by getting familiar with and excited about the positions that are open. If even one strikes you as something you’d fit into, go.
2. Asking questions you could answer online
Not only can this irk recruiters, but asking the obvious under-utilizes valuable face time which you can use to inquire about companies’ cultures and vibes, things you can’t find out without a firsthand account.
3. Arriving near the end
Arriving during the final portion of a job fair is about an hour short from being as bad as not going at all. Because long lines are always a part of job fairs, if you arrive at the end you’ll risk not getting to visit all the tables you want and scrambling to catch employers before the buzzer sounds, whereas arriving early can impress recruiters.
4. Being overly competitive
Although the other attendees may very well end up gunning for the same positions as you, job fairs are not a competition. Network with everyone you meet and be enthusiastic about it, because you never know whom it is you’re talking to.
5. Arriving empty-handed
There will be a lot to lose out on if you don’t bring some basic things: a portfolio with resumes to make sure you leave employers with something of yours, a pen and notepad to jot down notes about findings, and a list of your tasks are all good starts. It’s also a good idea to write down a few topics you discussed with individuals on the back of their business card for the next time you speak.
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