- Why should you attend the Fair? Attendance at this event can benefit you as follows:
- Find out about potential jobs/internships/career opportunities and meeting the representatives that hire for these opportunities
- Learn the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to be competitive for opportunities
- Have the chance to learn about and/or apply to many different organizations and jobs all in one place at one time!
- Students/Alumni are not required to pre-register to attend
- Do not expect to leave with a job offer! Your goals are to learn about and meet organization representatives so that you can begin/continue the application process.
Before the Fair
- Mark the date and time on your calendar. Make any necessary arrangements with professors/employers so that you can attend the Fair. The Career Center cannot excuse students from classes or other obligations.
- Plan to attend for a minimum of one hour; longer if you have several organizations in which you are interested.
- Review the list of participating recruiters and graduate/professional school programs. This list is updated weekly until the event.
- Research the organizations of interest to you by reviewing the information provided and investigating the organizations’ website.
- Create and/or update your resume. Visit the Career Center website for handouts and tips for preparing a resume. Have your resume reviewed WELL IN ADVANCE of the Career Fair to allow for corrections and changes.
- If you are attending the Fair for career exploration, prepare questions such as:
- How might I best prepare myself for a career in this field or with your organization?
- What knowledge or skills does your organization look for in new hires?
- What would I need to do to apply for your career opportunities if I am interested?
- Do you offer internship/summer job/part-time job opportunities?
- If you are attending the Fair for employment opportunities, prepare questions such as:
- I’m interested in your ___________________positions. Can you tell me more about these opportunities?
- How might I apply in order to be considered for upcoming job opportunities with your organization?
- Please tell me about your training program.
- What knowledge or skills does your organization look for in new hires?
- If you are attending the Fair for graduate school information, prepare questions such as:
- I’m interested in your ___________________graduate program. Can you tell me more about it?
- How might I apply in order to be considered for admission? What is the deadline for entering in Fall 2015?
- Please tell me about the opportunities for graduate assistantships, scholarships, and other means of helping with the cost of graduate education. How might I apply for them?
- What specific qualifications are sought for admission to your ____________graduate program?
- Be prepared to share information about yourself with the recruiters. For example:
- Your career aspirations or interests
- Your major
- Why you are interested in their organization
- Your willingness to relocate if necessary
- Set aside professional attire to be worn at the Fair:
- Men: Business suit with dress shirt (preferred); or dress slacks with a button down shirt or polo shirt (acceptable for undergraduates and for the STM Fair). NO sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, ball caps or shorts!
- Women: Conservative business suit or business dress (preferred); or dark skirt/pants with sweater set or conservative blouse. NO short or tight skirts, low cut/cropped/spaghetti strap tops! NO sneakers, sandals, flip-flops or shorts!
At the Fair
- Review the participant list (available at the registration desk) for the organizations of interest to you. Visit those organization’s booths first. Keep an open mind – talk to organizations even if they have nothing to do with your major – see what they have to offer. For example, you may not have a major in a healthcare related field, but hospitals employ people in business, human services, information technology and other areas as well. Don’t miss out on possible opportunities just because you didn’t ask a few questions!
- Avoid hanging around in groups. This gives the recruiters the impression that you do not know how to approach them or that you are more interested in catching up with friends. The Career Fair is your opportunity to network with/market yourself for your future; it is not a social event.
- Introduce yourself to the representatives. For example: Hello. My name is _____________. I am a (freshman/sophomore/junior/senior/graduate student), and I am interested in your ________________ opportunities. Could you tell me more about these opportunities with your company? Remember to smile and show your interest and enthusiasm! First impressions count!
- Give the recruiter a copy of your resume and pay attention to the information the recruiter provides you.
- Ask the recruiter how you should apply for jobs/internships with their organization if you are interested. Do not be “put-off” if a representative tells you to apply on their website – they are inviting you to apply, and this is how their company accepts applications!
- Be aware if the employer has scheduled or plans to schedule an On-Campus Interview date at the Career Center. Some employers will pre-arrange an interview date through the Career Center to follow-up with candidates met at the Expo and schedule the interview times for their campus visits during the fair. Others will be arranged after resumes are collected at the Career Fair.
- Take any brochures, pamphlets, etc. that the recruiter may offer you for further review.
- Ask for a business card and thank the recruiter for his/her time.
After the Fair
- Make a list of the organizations with career opportunities of interest to you and note the names of the recruiters you met at the Fair. Keep this and all information related to your search for your records.
- Visit organization websites for additional information. Apply online to companies that indicated this as your next step in their application process or follow the instructions you were provided in order to indicate your interest.
- Promptly follow up with recruiters representing organizations of interest to you. Send a short thank you note (email is acceptable, or regular mail) to the recruiters representing organizations of particular interest to you. Use this opportunity to thank the recruiters for their time and to re-affirm your interest in their organization.
- Stay informed. Know what the next steps are to earn the position you seek. Keep on top of all communication with employers and follow up with them by the deadlines indicated. Avoid letting too much time lapse in between communications – but don’t confuse persistence with pushiness. Sometimes recruiters are on the road longer than anticipated and cannot follow up with you exactly as they had intended. However, if you haven’t heard anything within several days after the recruiter indicated you would be contacted, follow up with them. An appropriate level of persistence is expected to demonstrate your continued interest.
What you should know about Career Fairs and College Recruiting
- Not all employers or graduate schools recruit at college career fairs.
- Many organizations do not attend career fairs because they do not have enough open positions to make it worthwhile in terms of time and money, or may attend fairs at larger universities or those closer to their headquarters where they can meet with larger numbers of students who may be interested in their geographic location and/or opportunities. Others may not attend because they receive sufficient applicants for available positions without the additional travel time and expense involved in attending career fairs.
What Does this Mean for You?
- The employers and graduate schools represented at the Fair are in attendance because they seek College of Charleston students/graduates for their opportunities. Attend the Expo and meet those who are interested in you!
- While not everyone will find what they are looking for at the Fair, it is one of the best opportunities available for everyone to put their networking and sales skills into action.
- Many businesses, corporations and government agencies hire liberal arts graduates. However, you must explore and be open to opportunities available with these organizations – and you must be able to communicate how your knowledge and training would be a good fit for these opportunities.
- The Career Fair will lead to initial interviews for many students (and eventually job offers for some of them).
- The Career Center does not choose or decide the organizations that attend the Fair, the organizations you see are those that wanted to be there. Many others are asked or invited, but choose not to attend.
- If the career fields of interest to you are not represented at the Fair, the Career Center would be happy to assist you in developing your individual job search plan for organizations that do not typically attend career fairs for recruiting purposes. Visit the Career Center website for resources and information or contact us for more information.
We look forward to your participation in our Career Fairs! Please contact the Career Center if you have additional questions.