It’s that time of year again, career fair season! Recruiters and human resources professionals gather at colleges and universities to search for potential interns and full-time employees. While being out of the office may seem fun, attending multiple fairs a week and talking to hundreds of students can be overwhelming to even seasoned professionals. Here are some tips to help you prepare and maintain your stamina throughout the semester.
Packing and Prep Work
First, confirm you have completed registration and paid any outstanding balances. This will make the check-in process much easier. Most colleges will send reminder emails with information regarding check-in, parking, timeline, etc. Use this information to create a schedule for the day including travel and meals. Google or iPhone maps are excellent ways to plan your route!
Be sure to prepare what you’re planning to say to students. You could provide information about your company, its services/products or descriptions of available positions.
Now that you’re logistically prepared, let’s start packing. Of course, you’ll need to pack the necessary marketing items (branded tablecloth, banner/sign, brochures, fidget spinners, etc.). Try to pack light, but bring enough so you won’t run out of anything. Carts are a fantastic investment if you have a lot of materials. Some other items to consider packing: comfortable shoes, hand sanitizer, pens, notepad, snacks and bottled water. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, talking and shaking hands.
Make sure you have the correct address in your GPS and know where parking is located. Plan on arriving early to find parking as lots and garages fill up fast. You also never know how slow or fast traffic is going to be.
Download a few podcasts episodes or create a music playlist, you’re going to need it on the road. Our recommendations include: EchoChamber, Stuff You Missed in History Class and Hidden Brain. Don’t forget those delicious snacks you packed and stay hydrated!
Before and During the Fair
Once you arrive, check-in to the career fair and find your booth. Throw the tablecloth on the table, set up the banner/sign, organize the marketing items and prepare to talk to students! If you have extra time before the fair starts, network with fellow employers. You never know where a connection could lead!
During the career fair, stand up and be engaged with the attendees! If you’re sitting down and staring at your phone/laptop, it appears as if you aren’t interested in being there and students will walk past your booth. You’re there to connect with students, not your phone.
After the Fair
Take note of any details you may want to know for future career fairs. If a fair didn’t provide beverages, you may want to remember to bring some for next year’s event. Complete the post-fair survey and offer the school any helpful feedback that may help them in the future.
Also, be sure to follow up with connections you made at the career fairs. You could end up hiring one of the students you meet!