The Career Fair is coming this Wednesday at the Classic Center, but don’t just walk in without a plan. There are over 200 employers that will be present, and it rapidly becomes overwhelming if you don’t prepare ahead of time. So this weekend, instead of watching 5 hours of Netflix, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do some research about what you’re actually looking for.

1. Know Yourself

Based on all of your experiences in university, what ideal job position or career path is most ideal for you? Think about what qualifications you already have, or investigate what sort of careers past students have obtained post graduation with particular majors.

2. Know What You Want

You have a general idea of where you want to go, whether it’s in accounting, public administration, marketing, etc. Now it’s time to go deeper in your preferences and dealbreakers so that you can build the sort of work environment you would thrive in. When investigating potential jobs, don’t just look at the salary, but also consider areas such as:

  • Geographic location
  • Size of the company
  • Type of schedule
  • Whether or not you’re expected to travel frequently
  • Company values
  • Diversity
  • Does the job provides you with professional development?

Once you have your list of qualities in your ideal job, make sure to prioritize them as well. For example, even if you would like a flexible work schedule, maybe you would be willing to give that up for a company with similar values and a high level of diversity.

3. Explore Who’s Coming

The Career Center has a list of all of the employers that will be present at the Career Fair. You can sort through this list by industry, majors required, type of positions, etc. Find companies that sound interesting to you, and then visit their website to see how well they hold up against the ideal job you had created.

Try to come up with a top five companies list, and then explore what positions they’re offering on DAWGlink. Make sure your resume is tailored towards their job descriptions, so that way you can show the recruiters just how qualified you are for the job.

4. Prepare Some Questions

You’ve done your research and you’ve created a top 5 companies list that you are going to target. The last step is to come up with some questions to ask the recruiters at the fair so they know you’re definitely interested. Some examples of appropriate questions include:

  • What are the characteristics of an ideal candidate?
  • What are the hiring projections and trends?
  • What are the staffing needs of your locations?
  • What are the travel opportunities/requirements?

Do all of these steps ahead of time, and you will instantly stand out in the recruiters’ eyes. For more ways you can prepare for the Career Fair, come to our event How to Stand out from the Crowd in a GOOD Way this Monday, September 15th from 5:30-6:30, and make sure to stop by to get your resume critiqued.