The opportunity to attend a career fair or interview with a future employer will happen most likely several times throughout your career, so it never hurts to garner as many tips as you can.
In an effort to help current and future students, as well as community members, learn more about what to do before, during and after a job interview and/or career fair, Rasmussen College hosted a live Google+ “Hangout on Air” Feb. 17 titled Ask the Experts: How to Prepare for a Career Fair.
The career development hangout was hosted by Elizabeth Lintelman, career services manager at Rasmussen College. It also featured career services advisors Kelsey Granowski (Twin Cities), Heather Kienast (Twin Cities), Matt Allen (Twin Cities) and Jennifer Cute (Fort Myers).
The topics of the discussion ranged from researching companies before you speak to them, dressing professionally, developing your one-minute “elevator pitch” and the keys to networking.
Here’s a breakdown of the highlights.
What to bring to a career fair?
I think it’s really important to bring multiple copies of your resume with you,” Kienast said. “If you really want to be a stand-out, make yourself some business cards.”
If you do create some type of business card, it’s important to include on them your contact information and your LinkedIn URL to help you showcase your social media skills. Do not fill out information on the back of the cards, because that will allow employers to write notes on the back. Also, remember to bring a couple copies of your list of references.
How many companies should you plan to speak with?
Since there’s usually going to be quite a few companies available, Cute recommends doing your research prior to the career fair.
“Make a list of all the employers you know you really want to meet with,” Cute said. “[Also] have some type of plan on how you’re going to work the event—that way you’re really going to make the most of your time while you’re there.”
Can’t-miss conversation segments
The entire video is available for viewing below as well as on the Rasmussen College YouTube channel. If you’re strapped for time and want to focus on a specific area, here’s a breakdown of where and when the highlights happened:
- Why should I be attending a career fair? 1:53
- What should I bring to a career fair? 2:51
- Should I bring cover letters to a career fair? 4:31
- How many companies should I plan to speak with? 5:03
- Are career fairs just for full-time jobs? What about internships? 6:29
- Are career fairs just for networking or should I expect an on-the-spot interview? 6:57
- How important is it to make sure your resume is only one page? 8:21
- How can I find out if there are career fairs in my area? 9:02
- How long are you supposed to be talking to employers? 15:21
The point of this article was to help you become more comfortable with attending a career fair. You should also know a bit more about what to expect when you meet with recruiters. Check out the Career Services Blog for more helpful hints.
Also, remember to circle Rasmussen College on Google+ to stay up to date on our future Career Development Google+ “Hangouts on Air.”