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How to Make the Most of a Job Fair

By Darnell Miller

UST students at a job fairIt’s that time of year again, when the senioritis is hitting hard and graduation is speeding towards you. But now is not the time to slack off. It’s time to dust off your business clothes and figure out what you are going to do for the rest of your life. Or at least find a job.

With job fairs in your future, it is best to prepare to make thae most of your experience. Here are a handful of tips to get you on your way.

1. Do your homework

Find out which companies are hiring people with your skills and visit them while you’re still fresh and have copies of your resume.

2. Arrive early

Like you, recruiters are best at the beginning of the job fair, so arrive when the event begins to leave the best impression. Be prepared to answer interview questions on the spot and fill out applications as well.

3. Bring extra copies of your resume

Even though you have already planned who you would like to talk to, bring extra copies of your resume in case you find another employer or position that catches your eye. Bring at least a dozen extra resumes.

 4. Practice your elevator speech

In order to be noticed—and remembered—by recruiters, you should have a 30 second or less pitch about yourself and you’re your qualifications. It should include who you are and what value you will bring the employer. It takes a while to perfect your pitch, so write it out, revise it and practice several times before the job fair.

5. Follow up within 48 hours

Recruiters meet lots of candidates at job fairs. If you want to set yourself apart from the competition, take business cards as send thank you e-mails after the event. In your email, you should reference when and where you met and the position that interests you. You most likely receive a response from the recruiter, but it might help move your resume to the top of the pile.

6. Meet with Career Services

In the Office of Career Services, they can help you tighten your resume, perfect your elevator speech and, should you land an interview, practice answering interview questions.

About the Author — Darnell Miller ’10, MLA ‘15

AvatarDarnell Miller is a writer, photographer and videographer who loves storytelling in all forms. He is a UST alumnus who is passionate about education and study abroad.

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