During the past one month, I have been to two big career fairs of Fisher. Dressed in business professional style and holding a stack of resumes, I definitely looked serious and professional! I have never been to a career fair, so I’m glad to say that it was a great experience for me. As a first year graduate student without much working experience, I found myself initially a little bit confused and timid in the fair. Therefore, I’d love to share some of the tips about the career fair which I learned from both the fair and the career workshops.
- Before the Fair (Get fully prepared!)
1. It’s highly recommended to identify your target employers from the career fair guide in advance. (It’s embarrassing if you know nothing about the companies. This happens to me.)
2. You should prepare a few common questions for each company as well as some specific questions for your target companies.
3. Prepare copies of your resume. This may seem obvious but you should be familiar with all things listed in your resume and ready to discuss anything on it at the drop of a hat.
4. In the career fair workshop, we were told to prepare a 30-second introduction which I found quite useful in the fair. (I have to say that I did too much self-introduction in the fair. I’m working on improving this!)
5. As for international students, some knowledge of OPT and CPT is required because we have to face this annoying/constant question.
6. Check FisherConnect before the fair because it’s possible that some companies are already open to application even before the fair.
- During the Fair (Get fully involved!)
1. You must be confident and show your passion and strengths to your target companies.
2. There are some who recommend that you could start with some “smaller” companies before you are ready to head for your dream employers. It’s like a warm-up!
3. Avoid making just self introductions again and again. Ask specific questions to show your interest in each company.
4. Don’t be too shy to ask for some gifts provided by the company. Some of the gifts are really cute. (You can ignore this tip :-))
- After the Fair (It’s not over yet!)
1. Always remember to follow-up!
2. Basically, most job positions need the process of online application. Therefore, you still need to check carefully online even if you’ve already handed in your resume in the fair.
3. You can send a thank you email (with your cover letter and resume attached) to the employers you met at the fair and/or connect to them in LinkedIn.
4. Take some time to think what you’ve learned from the fair and try to improve next time.
5. Don’t lose confidence if you failed to find any luck in the fair, especially for international students. It’s just a single event – you will have more opportunities. Have faith in yourself!
I hope I find my summer internship successfully. Good luck everyone!