Get Your Pre-Game On
A significant amount of the career fair occurs before the first brochure is handed out. These simple tips will help you prepare in advance and be in a better position to impress:
- When possible, post your r?sum? to the event job board prior to the fair. This is particularly important for large-scale events where companies conduct onsite interviews, many of which are scheduled prior to the event.
- Standing out is critical. Take the time to learn about the company, and go beyond the basics. Learn about the industry. Know their competitors and what is being said about the firm. Utilize your alumni base to reach out to a current employee and gain that insight.
- Approach each company with a purpose. Know what the company is looking for and how your skills align with their open positions.
What the Experts Say
John Redmond, U.S. Inclusion and Diversity Recruiting Lead for Accenture says, "What sets students apart to me is their ability to ask intelligent and articulate questions. If you have made it through a strong MBA program, your educational pedigree is known. The ability to communicate effectively and formulate questions in a manner that is engaging and leads to meaningful conversation is what every company representative is looking for."
Redmond also warns students of the perils of being unprepared. After a long day of meeting students at a career fair, Redmond says, "Asking 'What does your company do?' is the quickest way to get a polite reply and no further interest."
The Art of Networking
Networking during the event is also critical. Students should have a plethora of resumes and business cards on hand at career fairs. Exchange contact information with firm representatives and put them to use. Take notes on each of your interactions and reference them in your follow up. Strike a balance between functional and personal communication. Your e-mail and phone interactions make as much of an impression on the recruiter as your time at the conference.
Career fairs are more than a valuable means for gaining employment. They represent the chance to meet contacts in your future industry that may in turn facilitate future job leads. Be certain that you're giving each company you encounter a reason to remember you.
In recent years, optometrists have acquired the legal ability to prescribe medication, making once-uncommon emergency calls a more regular occurrence. Still, doctors of optometry enjoy a relatively quiet, clean, consistent working environment in comparison to other medical professionals.
The full version of this article originally appeared in Hobsons' MBA Guide.
Cristina Candia Lopez is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a master's degree in international affairs. She has lived throughout Latin America and the United States and is experienced in nonprofit management, corporate diversity, and college recruitment practices.