The date is coming. You’ve seen the emails pop up and flyers hung around campus. The fall Career Fair is approaching fast, but you decide not to go because…
1. I’m not ready to look for a job.
Either graduation is years away or you’ve got enough on your plate already, job hunting is just not on your radar – fair enough. Try thinking about it as a practice round. Most people don’t wake up, decide they want to buy a house and make an offer that same day. It takes research, time, and shopping around. You look at what’s out there, see what each neighborhood is like. Companies at Career Fairs are the listings and you’re attending their open house – free of commitment, free of charge, and you have the ability to walk away.
2. There are no companies for my major.
Hospitals may need an interior designer. A police department could value someone with a biology degree. Just because the company may not be obviously connected to your program, you’ll never know what they have to offer unless you actually talk to them.
Also, play an active role in who shows up. Send in your requests for who you’d like to see attend and Career Development will work hard to recruit them, companies love to hear they are in demand from students. Even if we don’t get them in attendance, we almost always get good contact information out of our requests and can help you make a connection.
3. I don’t have time.
Maybe you’ve got classes all day on Wednesday or simply don’t have a minute to spare so you figured you’re better off not coming at all. First, I’d remind you that the event lasts for four hours and then I’d encourage you to do some research. Of the 50+ companies that are likely to be there, maybe you figure out the top three that you want to visit and hit them all in a 15-minute window.
Try asking your instructor if they’d consider dismissing class early (ask this *before* the day of the event) or if they’d be willing to bring the whole class down to attend together. As a rule, teachers are interested in students investing in their futures.
4. I won’t even know what to do once I’m there.
So your elevator speech isn’t up to snuff. Or you don’t even know what an elevator speech is. Take the fear out of it and understand that you’re just introducing yourself to another human being and telling them about who you are, what you’re studying and what you hope to do with your degree. Then it’s listening. If you can’t think of any questions to ask them on your own, a simple one is “what does your company look for in potential employees?” If the conversation feels over, smile, thank them for their time and move on.
Maybe you don’t like crowds and find meeting new people to be uncomfortable. Agreed. It is. But you had to do it for college and you’ll definitely have to do it during a job interview, so you might as well ease your way into it. As mentioned above, you’re not risking anything in attending so you’ve got nothing to lose.
Dress a little nicer than you normally do. Carry a folder with copies of your resume and don’t be greedy with free swag. Make eye contact and thank everyone you meet. And remember, each company has chosen to attend because they want to see what Park students have to offer – so let’s exceed their expectations.
Check out the list of employers here and stop by our offices if you have any questions!