It’s that time again! School has been in session for a little bit now, you are in a routine, and things seem okay. Then, it hits you. The smell of free swag, pamphlets, and the feeling of uncomfortable conversations overcome you. Yep. That’s right. It’s career fair time. It’s no secret that a lot of people try to avoid career fairs because they either don’t want to put in the effort of dressing professionally, networking, or just going through the whole process of what a career fair really entails. I am here to prove that myth wrong. Fun fact: career fairs can be used for more than just class credit and free stuff! Career fairs are a really great way to see amazing possibilities that could lead to future careers. It is a time to network in an environment designed for you.
Career fairs can be scary, but I have complied your very own Career Fair Survival Guide
Professional outfits but within reason
You should wear a professional outfit but there are some notes to remember when picking your outfit. It’s a lot of walking, so wear shoes that you can walk comfortably in. Your outfit should be fitting for the weather, and breathable for the inside. These fairs are usually packed with people in rooms that are not big enough which results in one thing: sweating. It happens to everyone so don’t get embarrassed; most people won’t even notice it if you don’t say anything.
Going alone is better
It might be fun to go as a group, but the representative at the table might be uncomfortable with multiple people there. It’s easier to go alone; then you can get more one-on-one time. Trust me, it’s so much more comfortable to talk to someone without your friend awkwardly standing behind you.
Accept the idea of being uncomfortable
Now that I’m working with people who are on the other side of the table one thing is clear: everyone is uncomfortable. Whether it’s the noise, the temperature in the room, or just networking in general; everyone there is in the same boat regardless of what side of the table you’re on.
Career fairs are a great time to get your resume out there and meet some amazing people while learning about organizations you may not have ever heard of. The people at the booths are there to talk to you and answer questions while informing you about what they do. You never know, someone you meet could find you your next job.
Confidence is key
There are going to be a lot of other students there which means that you’re going to have to find a good way to stand out. Being confident is one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give. Starting off with a strong handshake and introducing yourself loud and proud will also help the recruiter remember you.