This past fall, Altieri had booths at two career fairs – Fairfield University and University of Maryland Fire Protection Engineering. We are always excited to get on campus and meet future entrants to our industry. After meeting over 50 students, Crystal, Nick, Sheri, and Luying suggested that we talk to our student readers about why career fairs are worth attending and how to leave a career fair with a sense of accomplishment.
So readers, here are some tips that will help you make the most out of your time at a career fair:
You can never be too prepared
Find out what companies will be attending the fair and make a list of the ones you want to visit. Spend time researching these companies ahead of time; making it clear you did your homework will make you stand out from the crowd. Bring questions to ask. These can range from specific questions about the company and the work they do, to general questions about the field they’re in or their job search experience. Prospective employers are always willing to answer your questions.
Rather than waiting for someone to stop you as you walk by, go up to the booth and introduce yourself to the employers. Do not be afraid – company representatives want to talk to you! Show them you’re interested in the company and want to learn more. Be sure to speak with different types of companies to see which ones spark your interest.
Bring a resume
Bring as many resumes and references as you can, and hand them out to every firm that interests you. Your resumes are being brought back to office and read by employers.
It’s always nerve-racking meeting employers for the first time. Just be yourself and not the person you think the employer wants to meet. At Altieri, some of our employees were in your shoes not too long ago and can relate to the feelings you may be having. You are the change companies need and the future of the company, so employers want to know you for you.
Reach out after
Be sure to get contact information from employers you talked to so you can follow up after the career fair. Send them a thank you email for taking the time to talk to you. Let them know if you’re interested in more information about the company or would like to know what internship or job opportunities are available.
Let us know in the comments what your experiences have been at career fairs and any advice you have for fellow students.