The Career Fair is a zoo. It’s an awesome zoo, full of opportunity and hope for the future. After you spend a couple of hours there, you can feel like an absolute champ by making some solid contacts, learning about some positions you might be interested in, and perhaps lining up an interview or two. However, there is always another side to a coin. You could leave the Classic Center feeling deflated, like you were just another face in the crowd. Over the past two years, on my searches for an internship and a career, I have experienced both. You might ask, “Well, what was the key to success?” It’s simple, really. PREPARE!
Step 1: Check out the attending employers
This is essential. If you do nothing else, at least do this. Log in to Dawglink at career.uga.edu and click on “Spring Career Fair 2010 Participants.” Look over the entire list once. Make a list of companies and positions that initially catch your eye. Even if you just thought, “Hey, that could be cool/interesting,” write it down. That’s a good start. Now, take that list and go to each of the companies’ websites. Conveniently, there is a link on the Spring Career Fair 2010 Participants page. Take some time and get to know the company via there website. Write down things that attract you and come up with two questions that are position-specific that you could ask at the Career Fair. You want to do this because the question that students love to ask and employers hate to hear is, “Could you tell me about your available positions?” You should know this. By researching beforehand, you have the opportunity to impress a recruiter with your knowledge and will be able to ask a more meaningful question. Remember to bring all of your notes in a professional padfolio/folder. Look over what you wrote about Company A before approaching their table.
Step 2: Resume
This is essential. If you do nothing else, at least do this (I know I said that earlier, but I’m serious). Make an appointment with your Career Consultant, attend walk-in hours or satellite hours, or just holler at one of us CDI’s. Get that resume looking good, and print out plenty of them. You are going to hand one to each recruiter that you talk to. Also, it may be a good idea to have a couple of versions with different objective statements. In the Fall, I brought 3 versions of my resume: a generic one with no objective statement, one with a sales-oriented objective statement and skills, and one with a retail-oriented objective statement and skills.
Step 3: Look the Part
Get your business professional outfit together. Haircut, maybe. There’s no need for me to continue to explain. You get it.
These are 3 easy steps to help you feel more confident for the upcoming Career Fair on January 27th. I’ll be writing Part 2 of this entry soon which will explain how to make the most of your time at each table at the Career Fair.