Observations from a Career Fair

I was at a small career fair yesterday, and a few things stood out that merit mention. A few simple pieces of advice for the Class of 2010.

Do not attend career fairs in a pack of your friends. Go alone. Otherwise you appear insecure and immature.

Career fairs aren’t just for getting jobs, they’re for practicing. Walk up to as many booths or tables as you can. Practice introducing yourself confidently, asking insightful questions, reading the recruiters, and finishing strong.

In fact, if you’re starting early enough, you can focus more on improving your career fair performance than on finding a job. Most schools have career fairs both semesters. Go to September career fairs just for practice. Ask the recruiters what traits make a good employee. Ask them what they hope to see on a resume. Then make sure that the next time you meet them, your resume is updated and your pitch is altered to meet their needs.

Professional attire means you’re serious. Business casual (or worse) means you’re just curious. Recruiters hire serious candidates.

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