3.17.15

LEARN | 10 Tips To Master A Career Fair

careerfair_tips_lcc Happy Tuesday! I thought it was about time for another learn post. Two weeks ago I attended my first ever career fair here at SCAD. It was a really amazing event to have exposure to, but afterwards I realized I was 60% completely not ready for all of that. I also realized that there’s probably a lot of you out there who are in the same boat. So here’s what I came up with, hope you enjoy!

1. Dress To Impress. You might think this a no-brainer, after all you are reading a fashion blog. I really can’t tell you how many turnoffs I had of people based on their outfit. It might sound mean, but seriously if I’m thinking these things what are the employers thinking? I mean, a career fair is not the place to break out your lacey dress and platforms. First impressions count!

2. Do Your Research. It’s really important that you know the companies that are going to be there. I suggest making a list of the companies you want to talk to, and then make a prioritized version of which ones to go to first. Sometimes the lines get to be really ridiculous so you might need to decide which ones are more important.

3. Ask For A Map. Most Career Fairs will give you one, but if not don’t be afraid to ask! Use this in relation to your priority company list to scope out the direction of the fair you are going to take.

4. Know Your Pitch. An elevator pitch.. It sounds easy, right? Well not so much for me. I’m more of the conversational type, but the people at the career fair didn’t have time for that. Start by introducing yourself, and if this is a college career fair briefly tell them your major or focus. Next, what makes you unique? This is your chance to discuss your internships or employer experience, but always remember to relate it back to how you can benefit their company. This should be the perfect segway into your next point, or your career goals. Tell them your dream position, how you think you can get there, etc. You’re almost done. Briefly discuss their company, where you see yourself with them, all while expressing your knowledge of the company. Finally, make a strong conclusion. Leave them with your business card and resume and ask for theirs in order to follow up with.

5. Be Confident! Another no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many “ums” I heard! Sell yourself with pride, make them believe you.

6. Pick Who’s Going To Be First. This goes with your list, but I made the mistake of going to Bloomingdales’ first. It was the company that I can see myself fitting with best, so I was extremely anxious to talk to them. If you take anything from these ten tips, please take this one. Go to someone who’s in the middle or bottom of your list first- your first pitch is going to be the rockiest! The more you talk to companies, the easier and more believable the pitch is going to flow.

7. Leave Them With Something. This is more of an art school thing, but before the career fair I researched and concluded that there were three companies I was really really interested in. I used this as an opportunity to create a portfolio leave behind book that was a mini-size so they could easily keep it with my resume folder. They were really impressed! Not to mention it was a really easy conversation starter..

8. Collect All The Info You Can. At every table they usually have business cards and other promo packets. Take it all! I file all of this so when I need to reach out I have the resources I need to.

9. Make The Most Of Your Time. Network with as many employers as you have time to, and they don’t all have to be in your field!! Talking with professionals still gives you more experience and practice at pitching yourself. Also take the time to chat with people in line with you, they may have tips to share, etc.

10. Follow Up! Don’t forget to do this, it’s the most important tip!! My career advisor told me to take the extra step to send out handwritten thank you letters, and this has already paid off for two companies that quickly got back to me.

Do you have any tips I missed that you want to share? Please do!

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