With career fair season fast approaching, it’s a great time to share a few basic dos and don’ts to improve your chances if you’re a student. Here are some pointers from SCORR’s HR manager Shannon Busch.
Common etiquette is definitely important (good hygiene, personal space, strong handshake, professional dress, politeness), but the following are some suggestions that will make you a hotter commodity, at least at our table:
Show Your Personality and Relax
Let’s be frank; career fairs can be nerve-racking and awkward, but if I don’t get a sense of your personality, you will not stand out. It’s hard to meet new people, but I assure you that the folks on the other side of the tables are not intimidating. We just want to answer your questions and get to know you a little more…
Make Eye Contact and Smile
We’re not on a public bus, and we’re in a safe place. Try making eye contact and smiling even if you’re not necessarily wanting to stop at our booth. We won’t bite, we’re not riddled with anything contagious and we’re hoping you’re not either because we extend handshakes. We have no desire to chase you down and force you to listen. Smiling and saying hello is not a commitment, but not smiling or saying hello could be a mistake. It also kind of sets your demeanor for the fair at large. Floss and smile.
Know Who We are Before You Get There
The Internet is a fine piece of stalking machinery. I know career fairs are exploratory in nature, but if you’re interested in working with us, do a little homework and impress me with what you know about us. Even a smidgeon of research in advance of the show will make a difference.
Be Energetic and Enthusiastic
I know going booth to booth can be monotonous, but I really want to meet people who are hungry and excited to learn more about our team. That will stand out to me even more than someone with awesome credentials and average enthusiasm.
Don’t Make Me Carry the Entire Conversation
What’s your name? What’s your major? What’s your goal out of college? What do you want to be in five years? By this point, my arms are tired. Here, you carry the conversation. Ask some questions and tell me what you are looking for in a position. Have a game plan and a list of things you really want to know before you get to our booth and others’.
If You’re a Marketing Major, Don’t Walk Right Past a Booth with “Marketing” in its Name
Hey, maybe this cup of tea we’re brewing isn’t your blend. That’s okay. But unless you want to know about SCORR Marketing and ask for more information, I’m not going to lasso you once you’ve passed our table. If you’re looking for a job in a certain field, talk to everyone in that field that you can. Word of mouth only goes so far — be attentive and find primary sources of information. If it can’t hurt, it can only help.
Don’t Assume I’ll Remember You From the Career Fair
At career fairs, there are a lot of names and faces (I’d know, I have one of each), and I can’t remember them all. Keep in mind that we speak with quite a few people in a relatively short amount of time. If you apply after a show, you should mention that you spoke with me at the career fair, but please understand if I don’t remember (sorry about that!) and don’t let it bum you out. There’s a good chance I kept your resume and will put a palm to my forehead once I connect the dots.
I Have Air Fresheners…
And other cool swag I don’t want to carry home. Come take it off my hands at the Hastings College career fair: March 7th from 10:30-2:00. Follow us on Facebook for the latest on our career fairs and new job opportunities.