Preparing for a Career Fair

Okay, you’ve heard it a million times career fairs are important. You really need an internship for next summer, but you just aren’t sure how to get ready for the big day. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Here are 5 easy tips on how to put your best foot forward at the next career fair.

  1.     Review the List of Employers

The Career Development Center always posts a list of the companies coming to a recruiting event. Make sure you check handshake and figure out what companies will be here so you can prepare to talk with the recruiters. Check their websites, know their values, and be able to speak into the type of position you are seeking.

  1.     Get your Resume Ready

Your resume is your introduction on paper. Make sure this is in tip-top shape and carefully crafted for each firm you want to meet with (bonus points if you print it out on nice cardstock). Bring 9-12 copies of your resume to handout at the event. If you have time, also prepare a cover letter to go with each resume that is tailored the companies you plan to speak with. This will help you stand out and give you a leg up over other students.

  1.     Practice your Elevator Pitch

This can be daunting, trust me. But, it’s vitally important that you can share with an employer who you are in a few brief sentences. Click these links find some awesome tips on how to craft yours: here, here, and here.

  1.     Find a Padfolio

No that isn’t a typo, a padfolio is a nice folder that you can carry with you to house your resume, cover letter, business cards (if you have them), a notebook, and pen. This awesome tool will keep you organized and looking sharp. Here are some of our favorites: Brown leather, Royce Black Leather, and the Hope College padfolio sold in the campus bookstore. BUT don’t worry if you don’t have one, a simple, plain folder will do the trick.

  1.    Iron Your Suit

Part of putting your best foot forward is your personal presentation. Make sure you lay out your clothes the night before, iron them, and use a lint roller to get any dust off. As silly as it is, we judge with our eyes first. If you don’t look put together, recruiters will take notice. So please, just take a few minutes to help yourself out.

Always remember, career fairs are just one step on a long journey to landing an internship or scoring a job. Hopefully following these tips will make you feel confident and well-prepared for the next career fair!

(Side note: the STEM Fair, Economics and Business Fair, and The Gap Year & Non-Profit Fair are all coming soon to Hope’s Campus!)

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