If you’re thinking about joining CCE’s upcoming Career Fairs, register on LionSHARE and check out the tips below for before, during, and after the fair:
Before the Fair
Much of the leg work happens before the fair has actually started. We encourage you to invest time and effort in preparing for the fair so that you feel confident during the event.
Technology and Setting
- Fill out the event registration form and profile on the virtual career fair platform, and getting comfortable with the platform.
- Consider your internet connection, audio, and video.
- If possible, join the fair from a place that is free from distractions. If you don’t have a quiet option just be sure to mute yourself when you’re not speaking.
- Since you might be on camera, try to make sure that your background is neat and professional, no one wants to see last night’s pizza box behind you!
- Explore the organizations that will be attending the fair and the roles that they are hiring for on LionSHARE. Research, the organizations you’re most interested in speaking with during the Career Fair.
- Prepare questions for employers that showcase the research you’ve done.
- Develop and practice your introduction. You might have different tailored versions of your introduction typed in advance, based on the employers that you’re most interested in connecting with. If you’re looking for how to structure your introduction, we recommend checking out the Present, Past, Future model.
- Spend some time with your own marketing materials like your resume, LinkedIn profile, and LionSHARE profile. Make sure that they are all up to date and reflect the skills of the positions you’re most interested in pursuing. Remember to save and upload your resume as a PDF.
- Check out our Info for Students with Disabilities to find out how CCE can support you by providing advice around your questions and concerns related to navigating conversations at the Career Fair.
During the Fair
At the fair, draw from your preparation to put your best foot forward.
- Dress to impress: choose an outfit that reflects the industries and positions that you’re most interested in.
- Keep things natural by connecting with the employer on a human level before jumping into your introduction, think something like “hi, my name is…. It’s nice to meet you” before you send a longer block of text.
- Stay away from using “texting slang” like “LOL,” “OMG,” etc. in your chat-based conversation.
- Keep your notes nearby and ask questions you’ve prepared in advance to keep the conversation flowing and showcase your research.
- While you will not be standing in a line down the ramps of Lerner like in our in-person fairs, you will still need to wait your turn to speak with employers via virtual cue. Use this time wisely by reviewing your notes, looking up employer representatives on LinkedIn, or tailoring your questions and introduction to each employer.
- Consider other ways to share your story beyond your introduction:
- Answering Questions: The employer will be able to see your resume on the screen as you chat. So you should be prepared to talk about the experiences on it and relate them back to your career interests.
- Taking the Lead: You can also take the lead, referring to an experience or project on your resume as a way to tell a brief anecdote about how your type of work emerged, or how you built key skills toward future jobs.
- Framing Questions: As you engage in conversation with employers, you can use the framing of your questions to integrate pieces of information about yourself as you ask the employer questions. For example: ‘I’ve valued being a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers on campus, especially the opportunity to experience mentorship — first as a mentee, and now that I’m a junior, as a mentor. How does mentorship show up at your organization, and do you have any identity-based mentorship opportunities?”
After the Fair
Following the fair, focus on maintaining and building relationships by following up.
- Write down the names and contact information provided and send a thank you note. Be sure to follow up. If you were unable to catch their email, LinkedIn is a great way to connect.
- Stay organized as you track and follow up with connections. Think about developing a spreadsheet or system that works for you.