How to prepare and make an impression at the EDC Career Fair
By: Marley Peters
The Red River College Exchange District Campus Career Fair starts tomorrow. From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the atrium and cafeteria students can drop by businesses’ booths. If the mere mention of a career fair has you thinking of endless business cards and unwanted reusable tote bags, you’ve been doing career fairs wrong.
“I know that for myself, when I first went to the career fair, I had no idea what I wanted to do at the end of my program,” said Lauren Slegers, the president of the Red River College Students’ Association. “I went to a variety of different booths and asked them, based on my program and interests, where I might fit into their company.”
Think of the following before hitting the booths:
Take the time to research
Take the time to prepare for a career fair by researching the companies and organizations that will be there. Preparation is a great way to determine your goals and streamline your time without getting overwhelmed. The number one way to tackle that anxious interview feeling is to prepare.
“The biggest mistake that students make is not being prepared,” Slegers said.
Bring a resume
Don’t be afraid to bring a resume. Extra points if you tailor it to each company or organization whose booth you plan on visiting. Only provide the resume at their request. If they don’t ask for it, you can always send it to them later, with added details from your discussion with them.
Consider the career fair as a round of flash interviews. This means you should come prepared with questions, a personal pitch, and your favourite outfit that screams, “I’m a professional!”
Dress for the job you want
Dressing for success will help you make a good first impression. A smile and a firm handshake will convey confidence and make you more memorable.
Ready your pitch
Time to perfect your one-minute pitch. Also known as an elevator speech, a pitch should highlight your skills, strengths, and experience, such as work projects or volunteer hours. Use it to tell the employer about yourself without wasting their time with too much information.
Now that you’ve made some connections, what’s next? A novel idea – take those business cards you snagged and follow up. The trick to making a lasting connection is to keep connecting. ‘Thank you’ notes are a great professional habit that will keep you memorable.