As a college student you may ask yourself, ‘Why should I attend a career fair?’ Well speaking from experience, when I was in college I did not attend a career fair the whole four years I was in school, and I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. I could blame it on my college not advertising when, where, and why I should attend the career fair, but like most college students I was simply unaware of the benefit it could have on my future!
Now I’m not saying all college students are like this, however, since I started working at Barrington James, almost 2 years ago and having attended multiple career fairs with them, I do see a lot of college students not even care to attend something as important as the career events their colleges put on for them.
Going back to my experience, I graduated college without a job and not knowing what I wanted to do, and because of that I’m not as far along in my career as I would like to be or as I see a lot of my peers are. After I graduated, I gained experience in serving/bartending and also carried out some HR recruitment work before joining Barrington James almost 2 years after I graduated. I know in college, as a young adult it can be challenging for someone to fully understand what they want to do for a career, especially those with such broad majors. But, that’s what is so cool about attending career fairs, because so many different career paths are right there at your fingertips and gives you the opportunity to hear from a lot of different professionals.
If you are thinking about attending a career fair in the future, here are some tips I’ve provided for students (from an employer’s point of view):
• Always dress business smart (suit, tie, dress shoes, etc.)
• Bring plenty of copies of your resume
• Don’t be afraid to go up to a booth or stop at a booth when someone says hi to you! You never know, it might be your dream job
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions
• A firm handshake, good eye contact and confidence goes a long way
• Attend the fair even if it’s during a class, most professors will give you a class credit because, they too, understand the importance of career fairs
• Research companies who will be at the fair beforehand and pick out anything that interests you about their company
• Bring a binder/folder to be able to put all of the flyers and business cards you’ll get from employers
My biggest suggestion is to attend these events with an open mind, you might find your dream job or just as importantly work out what you don’t want to do, and just network – this might benefit you in the future without you realizing!
If you are interested in a career in recruitment or want to discuss our opportunities in more details, please get in touch