Friday, February 13, 2009

I am at the Career Fair. . . Now What?

By this time you have gone through the process of research, preparation, and production that is comparable to the amount of work that goes into any major classroom or office presentation. Just like a real presentation, you also need to follow through here.

Introduce Yourself. Let the employer know who you are. Present yourself as confident and enthusiastic about meeting them. They want to hire someone who wants to work for them so show it with your body language. They also are hiring you and not your skills so remember to show that you are not a machine. Be friendly, be courteous, and remember to smile.

Keep Their Interest. Anybody with enough people skills can talk to anybody, but if you want to set yourself apart from everyone else, then show that you have gone the extra mile. You have spent all of that time researching the companies so now you might as well apply that information. Ask intelligent questions that show you have researched their company because they will be much more likely to remember you if you do.

Follow Through. The last thing you do will be to make sure you can keep in touch. Employers will always have a means in which you can contact them later, and most of them will have a business card that you can ask for. The business card makes following up, especially with a thank you letter, very easy.

If you follow these three general ideas for all of the employers, you will be much more likely to be remembered which in turns makes you more likely to get an interview with them. Just be sure to watch your time. If you spend too much time with one person, you may not get to see everyone you wanted to. Also, feel free to take notes between employers on information you gathered or what was discussed since it makes excellent reference material later.

For more information on how to work a career fair, please contact the UIS Career Development Center with your questions. You can email us at, call us at 206-6508, or come in and visit us at SAB 50.

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