Staff Writer: Julian Cassady
The Fall 2022 business career fair is right around the corner. It will take place on Thursday, September 29th from 2-4pm in the Woodland Commons. Here’s what you’ll need to be prepared.
On September 21st Heather Connell of Career Services held a workshop to help students prepare for the career fair. Here is what I learned.
Before any tips and tricks, it is important to make sure you are registered for the event. You can register in Handshake. Once you’re on Handshake and registered for the event, you can look at a list of employers that have recruitment booths at the fair.
Connell told students to come prepared and plan which booths to visit in addition to researching the companies of interest. This year the fair is at max capacity, meaning 50 different employers will be at the event.
Connell recommends a list of things to bring with you to the fair. A “padfolio” with a binder, paper, and pen is integral to write down names and phone numbers. You can also use the padfolio to safely store any physical information given by the booths. It may also be a good idea to bring any research notes that you have on the prospective companies you’ll visit. Lastly, students should bring about twenty resumes to hand to recruiters.
There isn’t any need to bring a nametag, students will receive one upon arrival at the event if they are pre-registered.
A good resume can make a lasting impact that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. Your resume should be one page, avoid using a template and instead start from scratch. It needs to include your contact information, education level, relevant experience, as well as any skills you may have. BE HONEST and make sure your resume is perfect with no grammar mistakes or spelling errors.
Students should have an “elevator pitch” in mind when introducing themselves to recruiters. This pitch can include your career goals, name, year, and major. Express to the recruiter why you’re interested in their organization.
Having a good appearance is necessary for making an impactful first impression. The fair has a business formal/business casual dress code. Phones and other electronic devices should be on silent and away from view; your full attention should be on the recruiter because their company is giving up valuable time to attend the event. Be professional and exude confidence and enthusiasm.
When speaking with recruiters give proper eye contact, smile, and ask engaging questions. Make sure to demonstrate your knowledge of the organization and to talk about some highlights on your resume. Make sure to thank the recruiter and ask for a business card or email.
Connell also gave a few examples of questions to ask each booth throughout the fair. Some questions include:
What do you look for in an ideal candidate?
What are some common career paths with your organization?
Are there other opportunities within your organization that you typically recruit for?
What is the training process for new hires?
What is my next step in applying?
(Don’t forget to ask questions that are specific and relevant to the organization that you’re speaking with).
Follow up with any companies that you had a particularly good connection with at the fair on Handshake. Send them a message within 48 hours of the fair thanking them and tying any loose ends. Respond to any messages that recruiters send to you on Handshake. You may be surprised at the connections you made during the event.
The Business Career Fair is an excellent opportunity for UmassD students to make in-person connections with a wide range of organizations. Don’t feel discouraged if recruiters ask you to apply online; oftentimes an online application is the de facto next step.
Connell also extended an invitation for anyone to drop into the Career Services Center for help on how to navigate any stage in the career search process, from resume construction to mock interviews.
Drop-in sessions are available from 2-4 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Extended drop-in hours will be from 11-4 on the two days leading up to the fair. Students can also schedule private appointments to go over any specific questions that may require more attention.
Career Center Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Career Center Phone Number: 508-999-8658
Heather Connell Email: email@example.com