The career fair season has arrived again! As an active recruiter, Aversan attends many Ontario (and sometimes Quebec!) University career fairs throughout the year. After exhibiting at countless events, our Recruitment Team compiled a list of 9 crucial tips for students to keep in mind when attending career fairs.
1. Look Ahead
Always be aware of the upcoming events at your school so that you can research the companies ahead of time. This saves you asking generic questions such as “what does your company do?”. Instead, use the opportunity to ask more specific questions about the culture, benefits, and team structure. This will give you a better idea of the working environment and whether the culture is a good fit for you! Planning ahead also gives you an opportunity to come up with a “game plan” in regards to which companies you would like to visit to save yourself unnecessary time.
Have your resume up-to-date, and bring multiple copies with you. Have your electronic copy ready as well, in case the company prefers electronic copies to be sent instead. Put everything in a binder or folder so that they are easily accessible, rather than awkwardly taking them out of your backpack. Tailoring your resume to the company is also a good idea. It shows that you have done your research and that you are enthusiastic to work with this company. Some companies may have some positions posted on their individual job boards, so it’s a good idea to check those as well.Take me to Current Job Postings
Memorize your questions if you can, or if not, jot them down on a piece of paper. If you’re talking about yourself, have a quick summary of your main qualifications memorized as well. Out of courtesy to the other students waiting for their turn, give yourself about 2-4 minutes to talk to a representative to learn more about the company and then move on. Any further questions can be directed to the company later through email or social media.
Whether you’re graduating this semester, next semester, or in 2 years, it’s always good to have a head start with networking. This is a good opportunity for you to connect with Recruiters and HR representatives. You should follow relevant companies on LinkedIn and other social media so that you can prepare better when it’s time for you to start job hunting. However, sending a connection request to individual company reps can appear too spammy and will, for the most part, be ignored. Sending a short thank-you note to the recruiter after the fair with an electronic copy of your resume, on the other hand, is a good practice.
5. Dress Appropriately
Some companies might be attending the fair to hire or interview on the spot. You don’t want to miss out on these potential opportunities simply because you’re dressed too casually for the event.
6. Go in with a Game Plan
Research the participating companies and come up with a list. This way, you can prioritize which companies you’d really like to speak to and the ones you would like to get to if there’s time.
7. Patience is a virtue
Don’t let long lines discourage you. Patiently wait for your turn. Use this time to scout the activities on your other target companies if they’re visible to you. If you’re close enough, you might be able to hear some information that you were planning to ask yourself. You’ll be even more prepared when you head over there to ask your other questions!
8. Be Courteous
Be courteous to representatives and other students. Don’t cut in line, be conscious of the other people waiting. Listen to the other students asking questions so that you’re not asking the same thing. Some companies will send managers and other experienced employees, but much of the time you will be speaking to HR representatives. If you are unable to get answers to your technical questions, ask for a business card and send your question later by email.