Five Tips to Successfully Navigate a Career Fair

In less than a month, Albertus Magnus College will host its first Career and Internship Fair on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. While many seniors and alumni see the fair as an opportunity to find employment out of college, underclassmen can also benefit from the experience by networking and researching companies for potential internship opportunities.

Career Fairs, simply put, are a great way to practice and refine our professional presence, make contacts, and set tangible goals for our future. They are also a way to hand a resume to a recruiter in person rather than to blindly send a resume to some mysterious, no-reply email address.

Now that we know career fairs provide incredible personal benefits for all college students and alumni, it’s time to examine what we can do on this day to make an outstanding first impression. Here are five tips to help you successfully navigate any career fair:

1. Research companies beforehand. A list of employers attending Albertus Magnus College’s Career Fair will be available two weeks prior to the fair. Review the list ahead of time and then research the companies that you plan to visit. Employers will be impressed that you did your “homework,” and you’ll feel more confident approaching them.

2. Dress for success. If you own a business suite, wear it. If not, then find a flattering “business casual” outfit that’s classy and professional. For tips about how to dress, please visit Albertus Magnus College’s Career Services Pinterest page. (No jeans, sneakers, T-shirts, or sweatpants!)

3. Create your own personal pitch. Your “pitch” or “introduction” doesn’t have to be long, but it should be rehearsed enough so that you exude confidence in your delivery. For example: “Hi, I’m Tonya. I’m a sophomore at Albertus Magnus College, and I’m interested in learning more about your internships for criminal justice majors. Can you tell me about the type of experience or skills you require to intern for your agency?”

4. Bring resumes. Provide a resume after every connection you make. Resumes, unlike personal business cards, allow a recruiter to learn more about you, your skills, your education, and your work experience. A resume printed on resume paper—a thicker paper found at any office store like Staples or OfficeMax—makes the very best impression.

5. Follow-up. Were you impressed by certain companies/recruiters at the fair? Why not stop at their booth one last time to thank them for their time and to reiterate your interest? Ask them for their business card, and then send them a thank you note with another copy of your resume. Follow-up is crucial if you want to remain on a recruiter’s radar.

This event will be held on February 25, 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is free for all students and alumni to network with area employers; no registration required.

Looking for a hard-working intern or talented Graduate? Then attend our Career and Internship Fair. If you or your company would like to represent your business, please contact Annette Bosley-Boyce at abosleyboyce@albertus.edu.

Bosely_Boyce_AnnetteAnnette Bosley-Boyce is Director of Career Services at Albertus Magnus College and author of The College Success Plan. As Director of Career Services, Ms. Bosley-Boyce assists students with career planning, resume and cover letter writing, LinkedIn profiles, job searches, and interview techniques. When she’s not assisting students with their “career education,” she’s developing rapports with employers in the area and coordinating events such as the college’s annual career fair and on-campus recruiting days.

Annette Bosley-Boyce received a Master of Arts degree in English with a concentration in writing and women’s studies from Southern Connecticut State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish from Sacred Heart University.

Having extensive experience in higher education, Ms. Bosley-Boyce has worked in administrative and faculty roles at various colleges for over 15 years. Her background includes career counseling, admissions, academic advisement, residential life, and enrollment management.

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