I started going to UNH’s career fairs my sophomore year, and I think they are excellent experiences for students to have even before they graduate. These job fairs can introduce you to people, jobs, and internships that you may not have otherwise known about. Even if you don’t find any prospects, though, the fair is an excellent chance to practice meeting and networking with employers, as well as others in your field!
Before the Fair:
- Sign up on the Wildcat Careers website prior to attending the fair (Events: Career Fairs: Spring 2015). They will have a printed name tag ready for you, and you’ll be able to maximize your time inside!
- Prepare your resume. Update all information, and make sure it’s relevant to who you might be giving it to. For example, if you’re hoping to hand it off to a computer software company, add your experience with Java, and maybe take out your involvement with your high school debate team.
- Fore more specific help with your resume, make sure you set up an appointment at the UNH Career Center! They can help you spiff up any resume or cover letter.
- Know who you’re talking to! On Wildcat Careers, there is a list of companies that will have tables set up at the event. You can even “Express Interest” in one or more companies prior to the fair. Doing so beforehand will give you an idea of how to prepare, and will keep you from wasting your own time wandering around the fair, wondering who to talk to.
- It’s also a great idea to look up these companies online, and get some information about their mission. Gathering these talking points will make you stand out because the potential employer will know you’re serious about this job or internship, and not just looking for whatever you can get.
- Practice the old elevator speech! Around 30 seconds of what you’re looking for and what you bring to the table.
Day of the Fair:
- At a job fair, you want to dress to impress, so break out those nice shoes! This means blouses, button downs, ties, skirts, dress pants, pantyhose (PANTYHOSE?!), the whole nine, folks! Even matching socks, if you’ve got ’em. For a more detailed wardrobe description for men and women, visit the UNH Career Center website!
- Make sure you’re wrinkle-free! That one pair of dress pants you brought from home at the bottom of your suitcase now look like they’ve been through a hurricane. We’ve all been there. If you have your own iron in college, that’s pretty impressive. Use it. If you don’t, don’t panic! Try asking around your floor, throwing them in the dryer on medium heat, or using a a friend’s flat iron. Another trick is to hang them up in the shower – don’t get them wet, but hang them close enough that the steam can get to those wrinkles!
- Print your resume, and put them in a folder so they don’t get crinkled. Like they say on the food network,
- Get out there! Shake hands, hand out those resumes, make eye contact, and offer specific details about why you’re interested in the position. Leave a lasting and personal impression! If they get you’re application in the mail, you want them to remember you. Don’t forget to grab some business cards!
After the Fair:
- Send out thank-you emails! Keep it brief, but mention something specific you talked about to jog their memory. This is a total All-Star move!