The big weekend you’ve been waiting for is here. No, not Eric’s rave party – that’s next weekend. This weekend is the October career fair. 70 organizations under the big tent with jobs ranging from sports marketing to social media to pharmaceutical sales. It’s a chance to see a bunch of organizations in one place at one time, and you want to nail it at every booth you hit. But how do you do that? What can you do to set yourself apart?
Here are a few tips to help make the most of the career fair this weekend. Let’s nail the job search first, and then we can get the glow sticks ready for the rave party.
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
The mantra for the job search is preparation, preparation, preparation. Whether it’s researching the booths that appeal to you, knowing where they’re located at the fair, or being able to pitch how you can be an asset to them, being prepared is key. The more you prepare, the less pressure you’ll feel, and the more confident you’ll be. So what do you do?
Dial your elevator pitch
Get ready. Someone is going to ask you why you’re at the career fair and what kind of job you’re looking for. When they do, you’ll be ready. In a couple sentences, two or three max, tell your prospect who you are, what your career goal is, and the strengths you bring to an employer. You may want to incorporate words that you lift from a particular organization’s website. It’s relatable and shows that you’ve done your research. Keep in mind that who you pitch yourself to doesn’t have all day. Find the balance between being pithy and thorough.
Remove The Invisibility Cloak
Be seen. There are a number of different platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – that are great ways to show yourself off. Make sure that they’re up-to-date and professional. Crocs, Inc doesn’t care what you ate for dinner last night, and HR is hardly impressed by last weekend’s beer luge.
Tailor Your Resume To Fit
Your resume gets you in the door. Customize what’s on your resume toward the organizations you’re interested in, and be able to summarize what you’ve done when you hand it over. If you really want to stand out, have your Good&Co StrengthsCard on hand for a quick and fun summary of who you are. It allows you to start a conversation and connect with people.
Map It Out
Like shopping in Trader Joe’s at rush hour, know the route you’re going to take through the venue. The first booths you hit should be the ones that interest you the most. You’re on point and ready-to-go like a fresh pair of Nikes. Use this face-to-face time as an opportunity to show how you can help them, whether it’s building their base of customers, generating sales, or operating more profitably. Build that relationship. And be sure to grab their contact information so you can reach out after the fair.
Shoes off, feet up, drink in hand – you’ve had a full day connecting with interesting people. But it’s not over yet. Within a day or two, go the extra mile and follow up with the people you met in a friendly, professional email. Restate who you are, bring up something specific you talked about, and thank them for their time. Since things went so well (because you followed our steps in this article), take the next step, and ask for another opportunity to meet. While that first interaction was about getting familiar, the second is about getting hired.