How to succeed at a career fair


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  • Thanks for joining me. I’m Megan Boone with Morehead State University’s Career Services and I’m going to be going through some tips to help you succeed at our next career fair.
  • First, it is important to understand why you should make sure not to miss the career fair. It’s a great chance to learn about jobs and internships that are available to MSU students and alumni. Even if you are not searching now, a career fair allows you to see what is out there, make connections with companies, many of which will send MSU alumni back to recruit, and build your network. Research shows that some 80% of jobs are never posted publicly but are instead filled through networking.
  • Be aware that MSU offers 2 career fairs each year – one in October and another in March. I’m going to walk you through the 6 R’s of career fair preparation!
  • The first thing to do is know who will be at the career fair which you can find on the MSU Career Services homepage as the date of the career fair nears. Then take some time to learn about the companies. You don’t have to be an expert but you should know something about their industry and the type of positions for which they typically hire. With the internet, the answers to your questions are only a click away. Make a list of the top 5 companies that you want to target and focus your research on them. You never know where you may find your next job so speak to additional employers if time allows.
  • It’s important to have a resume prepared prior to the career fair as many employers will want to look at it while talking to you as you can see in this picture. Focus on your most relevant skills and be sure to have someone in Career Services review it with you.
  • You’ll present the most professional image if you carry your resume in a portfolio like the gentleman in the picture. Don’t carry have it crumpled up in your giant backpack! The nice thing about a career fair is that you have the chance to meet recruiters in person rather than being judged solely on a piece of paper BUT you still have to market yourself to employers.
  • One great way to market yourself is to have a strong introduction rehearsed and prepared. Confidently walk up to an employer and introduce yourself including key information such as your major, your skills, and what you are seeking that will get a conversation started.
  • An impression of you is made in a few seconds, perhaps before you even speak, so make sure you are portraying a professional image. Be conscious of the employers time and move on if a line of students develops.
  • Employers love when you ask questions about what their company can offer you so have some prepared. If you’ve done your research, you many want to ask a specific questions about a project.
  • Be sure to collect business cards from the representatives at the career fair. Remember that this is a chance to build your network. Ask the next steps in the hiring process so you know when you should follow-up. You may talk to a dozen employers at the fair and by the end of the day, the information tends to become jumbled so take the time after speaking with each employer to take some notes about what they shared – positions available, what you need to do to apply, etc so that you can effectively follow-up after the fair. Following-up is a great way to separate yourself from the crowd.
  • I encourage you to talk to as many companies as you can – don’t overlook the smaller companies whose name you may not recognize as in this economy small businesses are growing and employing more recent graduates than ever. I hope that you have a positive experience at the career fair but continue your job search until you have an offer in hand.
  • Most importantly, try to relax and have fun at the career fair.
  • If you have additional questions or want to bring your resume by before the career fair simply walk in or call to schedule an appointment.
  • There are many additional services of which you may want to take advantage! We hope to see you in the Career Center!Dress for success.Have your resume checked at resume blitz or come on by.Check our website to see who is coming and who to Google.Come with 3 good questions for employers that you could not find the answer to online.Practice interpersonal and business skills.
  • How to succeed at a career fair

    1. 1. How to Succeed at the Career Fair<br />Megan Boone<br />MSU Career Services<br />606.783.2233<br />Come visit<br />MSU Career Services<br />
    2. 2. Why should you attend the Career Fair? <br /><ul><li>To get a job or internship!
    3. 3. To get a new job or internship!
    4. 4. To check out potential career opportunities- ‘window shopping’
    5. 5. To learn more about companies
    6. 6. Network with recruiters</li></ul> NETWORK OR NOT WORK!<br />
    7. 7. MSU offers 2 Career Fairs each year<br />The 6 R’s of Career Fair Preparation<br />Research, Resume, Rehearse, Refine, Requests, and Relax<br />Where do you begin?<br />
    8. 8. Research<br /><ul><li>Find out what companies will be attending the career fair on the career center homepage
    9. 9. Visit
    10. 10. Search for information on the company website
    11. 11. Focus on the top 5 companies you want to target at the career fair; however, plan to speak to all employers if you have the time</li></li></ul><li>Ready your resume<br /><ul><li>Have someone proof your resume
    12. 12. Attend the Resume Blitz offered by Career Services
    13. 13. Have multiple copies prepared.
    14. 14. Focus on computer skills, internships, class projects</li></li></ul><li>Ready your Resume (cont.)<br /><ul><li>Bring a professional portfolio
    15. 15. Resumes don’t get you the job- they get you the interview- so, market yourself!</li></li></ul><li>Rehearse<br />An introduction is a must. Include: <br />Introduction of yourself (major, graduation date)<br />Knowledge of company<br />Express interest in the company and/or opportunities<br />Tell what you can offer <br />
    16. 16. Rehearse (cont.)<br /><ul><li>Remember, first impressions matter.
    17. 17. Impress the recruiter, but do so quickly – this is not an interview. </li></li></ul><li>Who would you hire?<br />Not impressed<br />Impressed<br /><ul><li>Dress to make a positive first impression
    18. 18. Conservative, colored suit
    19. 19. Eye Contact and Handshake are important
    20. 20. Be confident, enthusiastic, and polite</li></li></ul><li>Refine<br />Use the person’s name<br />Say “Thank you”<br />Move on if there is a long line<br />Make your own positive impression- Do not cruise the booths with friends<br />Mind your manners<br />Don’t just grab goodies!<br />
    21. 21. Ready your requests<br />Request information from the company representatives by asking intelligent questions that demonstrate your knowledge<br /><ul><li>What type of training programs do you offer new employees?
    22. 22. Describe the work environment of your company.
    23. 23. How are employees evaluated and promoted?
    24. 24. I read on your website that you are undertook a major new project, how did this influence your personal and professional growth?</li></li></ul><li>Ready your requests (cont.)<br /><ul><li>Collect business cards.
    25. 25. Ask:
    26. 26. Who the best contact person is?
    27. 27. What the next step is?
    28. 28. Make notes about your conversation.</li></ul>Follow-up! Follow-up! Follow-up! <br />
    29. 29. Remember!<br /><ul><li>Explore options. You can’t tell what a company has to offer by simply looking at their name
    30. 30. Successful candidates will find a match regardless of what positions a company currently has “advertised”
    31. 31. ‘Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket’; continue the job search through various avenues</li></li></ul><li>Relax!<br />Relax and be yourself. Enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and build your network!<br />Have fun at the <br />Career Fair!<br />
    32. 32. MSU Career Services<br />Call ahead for appointments that fit your schedule - (606) 783-2233<br /> - See our online resources<br />428 University Drive (Across from Baird Music Hall) <br />Walk ins are welcome<br />All services are free<br />
    33. 33. MSU Career Services Offers:<br />Career fairs and employer networking events<br />Personality and Interest Inventories<br />Mock Interviews<br />Resume/CV critiques- individually or group workshops<br />Assistance with decisions about plans for majors and career paths or job search itself<br />Joblink-a FREE online network that helps connect students to employers for full-time jobs, internships, and student workers<br />