How Should You Prepare for the Career Fair?

By: Katie Flanagan ’19

 

The Career Fair is coming up this Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 2-5pm in the Hogan Ballroom, so get excited! The Career Fair is a fantastic opportunity to talk with potential employers about future full-time job and internship opportunities (a list of the employers attending can be found here). Preparation is key to ensure that you make a good impression on potential employers, and also make the most of out of your own time! Whether this is your first time attending a career fair or your hundredth, it’s always nice to have some tips and tricks up your sleeve. So without further ado, here are NUMBER tips to help you ace the Career Fair:

1. Do Your Research

I cannot stress enough how important it is to do your research on all the companies that you’re interested in that will be at the career fair (here’s the list again). Know which companies and positions you’re interested in, and be prepared to talk about why they interest you. You also want to avoid asking questions for which the answers can easily be found on their website. Also, you want to know your deadlines. Many of the organizations that will be at the Career Fair have deadlines coming up within the next month.

 

2. Polish Up Your Resume

Stop by the Center for Career Development (Hogan 203) for drop-in hours Monday through Friday, 1-4pm to make sure your resume is as up-to-date and polished as it can be. There will also be Resume lobby tables next week in Hogan where you can also have your resume edited and polished.

 

3. Make a Game Plan

There will be over 50 organizations in the Hogan Ballroom on Wednesday, so it will be easy to get overwhelmed. To prevent this, make a list of the organizations you’re interested in and rank them in order of which ones you’re most interested in. Then, if you have to leave for class or the career fair ends, you won’t miss out on the organizations most important to you.

 

4. Prepare Your “Elevator Pitch”

Your “elevator pitch” is a short, succinct description of yourself that will make an impression on the person you give it to. You should say your name, your major, your class year, and something that differentiates you from everyone else around you. An example of one would be:

“Hi, my name is Mickey Mouse. I’m an Art and Economics double major in the class of 1928, and I am the face of a multi-billion dollar and internationally known corporation.”

 

5. Come Prepared

Not only do you have to prepare in the days before the Fair, you should need to be prepared on the day of the Fair. Here are some things you should bring:

  • Printed resumes
    • You should bring 5-10 printouts of your resume to hand out to employers if they ask
  • A folder
    • Those resumes should be in a nice folder, not crushed in your backpack or folded in your hand
    • A folder is also handy if you accrue any materials from organizations you talk to

 

6. Put Your Game Face On

You want to represent the best side of yourself (and Holy Cross!) as you can, so make sure to dress in business casual, get a good night’s sleep, and don’t forget to put a smile on! If you’re an introvert, give yourself a mental pep talk to be prepared to talk with people. As I learned at the Senior Alumni Networking night, be a lion, not a wildebeest!

 

7. Own Your Awesomeness

Just by virtue of being at Holy Cross you’re already awesome (though I might be biased), but this is the time to own it! Competition for jobs and internships can be tough, so now is not the time to be overly humble or shy. You are an awesome person, so own what makes you unique and what differentiates you from the crowd. In the words of my future best friend (even though he doesn’t really know it yet!) Ben Platt, “the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.”

 

Now, go forth and set the (career) world on fire!  

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