Thursday, February 16


Valentine's Day I attended a career fair for both education and business industries. I was pleasantly surprised with the number of employers that attended. Current college students and alumni buzzed with anticipation and hope in finding that perfect career opportunity. Recruiters were excited to critique resumes and interview this incredible group of new talent.

So as I made my way around the booths, I took notice of a few key points and here is what stood out:

1. Look the part. There were too many students wearing jeans and other inappropriate career fair attire. Several men had ties that only went half-way down their chest. It is critical to look sharp and dress professional.

2. Do you homework. I overheard many students respond to recruiters with, "what does your company do?" If this was one of those reality singing shows, an "X" would have lit up over the students head. I scanned through the list of employers that I wanted to visit and then used my iPhone to search in more detail about the company. It paid dividends because I received phone calls from recruiters in less than 5 hours of attending.

3. Speak the language. This is a great time to speak jargon, i.e. industry terms and related topics. One recruiter I wanted to make a great impression even said to her fellow colleague, "he speaks our language." Do you think my name was highlighted, circled, or starred? I would imagine so.

4. Express authenticity and sincerity. Recruiters are speaking with so many people that they can filter out insincerity. Repeat the recruiters name in conversation. Pause before speaking. Genuinely make a connection and you will stand out among the crowd.

Career fairs are a great place to make connections and find jobs, but only if you are willing to put in a little extra effort. Share you experiences in career fairs with others here:

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