When I went to my first career fair, what I remember the most was being intimidated. I felt as though I was applying for as many jobs that I had applications for that day (25 to be exact). My palms were sweaty, and I was at a loss for words from the time I walked in to the Ohio State Student Union. I kept going over what possible things I could say about myself to sell myself to my future employer…”I’m an “A” Communication Student and love my school” just didn’t seem to be enough for some reason. I’ve never been afraid of talking to new people but for some reason, my heart felt like it was beating in my throat and I had lost the grasp of what qualities made me marketable to a potential employer. As a communication major, I was terrified to go into a job fair, at a loss at how to properly communicate.
…Which is why I wish I would have found this article prior to attending this career fair!
Essentially, the key to going to a career fair is to prepare beforehand. Know exactly how you are going to market yourself. I made the mistake of not having a 30-to-60 second elevator speech prepared, which would have saved me the awkward 10 second introductions that I repeatedly gave to the company representatives. It also greatly helps to be up to date on the news of the company, and what they are looking for in the next candidate for the job. The one thing that I did do well was dress appropriately. As the author, Dave Allen says: Don’t overdress, but err on the side of resembling a professional and less casual hipster.