How to conquer Career Fair


SC Staff Writer

When looking for a job, knowing where to start is sometimes the hardest part.

The Career Development Center and the College of Business Management are co-sponsoring this year’s Career and Internship Fair on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

The fair is a perfect opportunity to promote yourself to prospective employers. It’s also a chance to network with different recruiters who may get you a lead on a possible job.

Once you’ve committed to attending the event, it is time to do your homework.

Preparing for a career fair will increase your chances for a productive experience.

Currently, there are 36 companies registered with full-time positions and internships available in a wide variety of fields.

Find out what companies will be there and research their organizations. A detailed list of the companies attending this year’s fair can be found on

If any of the listed companies pique your interest, find out what it is, what it does, and what its employers are looking for.

Knowing what specific positions are available helps organize your thoughts on how your skills and qualifications fit in.

Practice an “Elevator Pitch.”

Develop a one minute commercial that will summarize your strengths, skills, and accomplishments.

Don’t lay it on too thick, and try not to be too aloof either. You want to tell the prospective employers your name, area of study, what you want to do, and why you think you are the right choice for them.

Bring Resumés, lots of them.

Prepare a quality, professional resumé. Get help from a trusted professor or the Career Development Center to revise and tweak your resumé.

Invest in quality paper; sometimes a small detail like that can make a huge difference. Print out multiple copies. More is more when it comes to being prepared.

Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.

The cliché goes “you will never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”

Spruce yourself up and look like the person your resumé says you are. No one is going to give the job to a slouch in his jeans or the girl in the tights and Uggs.

Consider this a dress rehearsal for the “real world job” you are all looking for.

Get there early and work the room. 

Don’t just focus on one or two favorites. The companies at the fair may not have listed every job opportunity at the fair.

Sometimes a conversation with someone you least expect can be the break you were looking for. It really is about being at the right place, at the right time so don’t limit your chances by only talking to one or two employers.

Don’t expect a job offer right away. 

Save salary questions for later, much later. The job fair is only the first step of a long process.

Some companies require two or three interviews before an offer is given. There will be plenty of time to discuss salaries, benefits and vacation time. The goal is to get a foot in the door. The job fair is not a one-stop shop for a job.

Show your enthusiasm! 

If a company or position interests you, say so. Companies are looking for someone who wants to work for them, not just someone who needs the job. Ask for a business card and thank them for their time.

Follow up 

It’s a smart idea to take notes when talking to potential employers.

Use your notes to write a short thank-you letter or email. Be careful to follow the application procedures described to you, but you may enclose or attach a copy of your resume to your thank you letter.

While finding a job may seem stressful and overwhelming, ESU students have many resources at their disposal. A trip to the Career Development Center can help build your resume and cover letter. has a database of potential jobs and internships currently available.

So dust off your fancy clothes and get your prep work done.

Let’s show the companies coming to the Career Fair on March 4 in Keystone Room, what ESU students are made of!

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