Career Fair preparation checklist — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week
In the weeks preceding the Fulton Schools Spring Career Fair, the Career Center will be offering in-person presentations and webinars on a variety of topics to help you prepare, as well as rapid résumé reviews by employers. We want to ensure that you will be able to present your “best selves” to prospective employers.
Make sure you’re prepared with this career fair preparation checklist:
- Create or revise your résumé
- Research companies
- Perfect your pitch (introduction)
- Practice interviewing
- Assemble professional attire
In addition to learning and mastering the mechanics of what to say and do, something else is extremely important: having goals (or a focus) and being able to articulate it. You need to be able to tell the recruiter what it is about their organization that interests you and show how you are a good fit for the company. (Go beyond simply stating your major because it is on their list!)
What activities and projects do you do on your own just because you enjoy doing them? Which industries are most appealing to you and what do you do to learn more about them? Which class topics are your favorites? As you are determining which companies to speak with, go beyond the description of the position and study the company website. What is it about them that has piqued your interest? What area/s do you see as a potential fit for you? Take the time to think about these things and practice what you want to say — and say it aloud.
Look to see which companies are offering Information Sessions. (You can find this information in Handshake under Events.) These sessions are an easy way to get a sense of the corporate culture, ask questions and interact with recruiters in a relaxed atmosphere. Unlike a career fair or an interview, where you have to sell yourself, in an information session, recruiters are selling the company. The tables are turned and YOU get to do the evaluating. As you listen to the presentations, pay attention to what is most appealing about the company and the position — as well as what is not appealing. The better focus you have about what you are seeking, the more likely you will be to find it!
Make time to gather and reflect on information. Then, think about what the opportunities mean to you and how they fit with your goals. Finally, practice what you want to say.
Joyce Donahue is a career counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center. She is a nationally certified career counselor and holds “Master Career Counselor” membership status in the National Career Development Association.