The Many Benefits of a Career Fair

Searching for that dream job, but can’t find it because you don’t have the experience they want? Making use of job fairs, such as the Career and Development Center’s annual Career & Internship Expo every fall or the Job & Internship Fair in the spring, is the perfect way to explore different career paths and build your network! Not only does it give students the opportunity to connect with a vast variety of employers, it provides a chance for students to practice interview and communication skills within a friendly social environment. Students attend job fairs for many different reasons – below are a few incentives that may give you that extra boost to go!

Career Exploration:

Not all students know what they want to do even if they have a major. Shocking, right?! Well, job fairs are well known for assembling a variety of occupations and fields in one central location for you to explore.  Especially if you are deciding between a few different areas, a career fair is a great place to learn more about a job without making a long-term commitment as you would with a part-time job or an internship (although you can find those at job fairs, too).

Job Search:

By utilizing career fairs to explore interesting occupations, students are able to gain a deeper understanding of which area they are most interested. This will be extremely beneficial when you talk with representatives at future career fairs. Eliminating fields that you are not as interested in can boost your confidence about the field or their organization when you connect with employers at the fairs. It will give the impression that you have done your research and have a deep understanding of yourself, thus reinforcing your interest in the position or company.

Network:

So you’ve done your research and are confident that this is the field that you want to continue with. Fantastic! An internship or job may be the next goal for you. Along with personal achievements, such as resumes and cover letters, who you know plays a big role in getting those opportunities. Career fairs are a wonderful chance to network and connect about shared interests. Although you may not receive an invitation for an interview then and there, maintaining a relationship with recruiters and employers will be beneficial when you are searching for internships or when positions become available. Take business cards and connect on LinkedIn to start building a professional network.

Now that you have a better understanding of the numerous benefits to attending a career/job fair, get started! The CDC hosts annual career events and job fairs that you can start preparing for NOW. The key to a successful interaction with employers at a job fair is … Being Prepared!

Best Candidate Tips:

  • Update and bring multiple copies of your resume! Stop by the Career Development Center during our walk-in Quickstop services Mon-Thursday from 1PM – 4 PM for assistance with resumes, cover letters, and interviewing tips.
  • Follow basic interview tips such as: dress professionally, come prepared with questions, have a strong handshake, remember to look them in the eye, be punctual, smile and be confident!
  • With MavJobs, you can review the job postings and organizations attending and really impress the recruiters by doing your research.

Lastly, be open to new experiences. Although the company or position may not be interesting, ask questions about any other opportunities that they provide. You never know what that dream job will look like. Take advantage of opportunities such as job fairs that are provided. Nowhere else will you be able to make an impression and learn about what careers may interest you. So start now and you may land a job or interview at the next career fair!

Carolyn Vue

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