We sat down with CCI’s career liaison, Kate Herron, to talk career fair prep. The CCI Career Fair brings in companies from North Florida looking for students in public relations, communication, graphic design, advertising, information technology, cybersecurity, software development and more.
When preparing for a career fair, Kate gives a few pointers:
Craft a Strong Resume
Having a strong resume is crucial – it’s often your first impression with a company! It needs to be clean and concise but also specific. Once it’s ready, bring at least 20 copies on resume paper or cardstock. Contact Kate if you would like to have her review your resume or stop by the Career Center Monday-Friday between 9am-4:30pm.
Practice Your Elevator Speech
A quick, clear message about yourself is essential when attending a career fair. The message should be about who you are academically and professionally and briefly touch on what you’re looking for. After that, let the employer talk and then engage in a conversation.
Do Your Research
Identify employers you’re interested in before the event. Interested in an advertising firm? Look into what clients they’re working with. Having a good understanding of what the company does allows for more focused conversation between you and representatives from the company.
Dress for Success
The FSU Career Center offers a guide on what to wear to a professional networking event. For men, a two-piece suit with a conservative shirt and tie. Simple accessories and closed-toed shoes for women. Ladies, if you wear a skirt, make sure it touches your knees and nothing too tight or revealing. When in doubt, overdress!
Follow the KISS model: Keep It Simple, Smarty!
It is easy and understandable to be nervous when it comes to finding a job and navigating all the steps to get there. Be yourself, tell your stories, do your research, and look professional. If you follow this, you’ll be fine. And if you have any questions or are anxious, come see Kate. She has lots of resources and the good candy J
“Many students think the object of a career fair is to walk out with a job or internship,” shared Herron. “You’re really there to network and get a face-to-face interaction with potential employers.”
Kate Herron has drop-in advising in UCC 4115 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-3pm and Wednesdays from 10am-12pm and 1-4pm. She can help with elevator pitches, resume critiques and, career preparation. Follow her on Twitter for professional development events and more info.