Have you ever attended a career fair and felt like you aren’t prepared nor confident enough to present yourself how you’d like? We’ve all been there so let’s go through some preparation methods to ensure that next time, you’re ready for the opportunity.
Prior to the event, you will want to research the companies who are going to be attending the career fair. You can research online about the company’s mission, ethos, recruitment process and their success stories from previous employees. Not to mention there are platforms such as Placement International, which allow previous employees to rate their working experience, so you can get an idea of what it would be like to work there. It is also worth looking at specific roles and locations that you would like to work in, to really impress your potential employers with your passion and dedication.
Prepare a pitch
The employers you will meet with are going to be speaking with hundreds of candidates so you will need to be precise and engaging to really be considered. I would recommend preparing a self-presentation beforehand to really polish your delivery. One of the most important things is to be dressed accordingly, you want to be presented smartly but at the same time, not overdoing it. Begin with a disarming smile, firm handshake and a defined introduction which oozes self-confidence and self-assurance. State your goals for working in the industry, and if you aren’t sure of those yet, then exaggerate and try to ‘fake it till you make it’, because you will find your calling along the way. Include a short personal story, your reason for choosing the industry and a personal ethos that you stand by.
Then you will want to be more specific and delve into why you are interested in this specific company and why they should choose you based on your experiences, qualifications and skills. I would recommend that you practice your pitch many times, and even try it on employers that you are less interested in, to build up your confidence and delivery.
Leave a lasting impression
Nearing the end of your conversation with the employer, ensure that you leave a positive impression as this will stick in their mind when considering you as an applicant. Even have some questions prepared so that you seem interested and eager to learn, asking about the recruitment process and even their personal experiences with the company. Also, the career fair isn’t a race – take your time speaking with all the employers as opportunities like this don’t come around very often. Usually, schools won’t have more than 2 to 3 career fairs maximum per academic year.
You’ll want to end your personal sales pitch by asking for any business cards they have or handing out yours – which, if you have one, would really impress them and show your initiative. You could also connect with them on LinkedIn, and if you don’t have a profile yet then I suggest you create one as soon as possible! This is so you can follow up with them afterwards, thanking them and showing your extended interest to work with them.
By now, you should have an approach of how to prepare and present yourself at a career fair! If you are still nervous speaking to a lot of employers, don’t worry, it’s natural and through practice you will gradually get better with your delivery. Some essentials you will want to keep in mind – bring at few copies of your CV – just think about the number of employers that you will be meeting and make sure you have enough! Be confident in selling yourself and really believe in what you have to offer them to give off the best possible impression. I hope you are now you are equipped and excited for your next career fair, ready to show employers the best YOU!
Placement International might be present at your next career fair so make sure to come by and talk with us. We're always happy to meet all of you so don't be shy! If you are not able to meet you in person you can also apply here by clicking the button below.