By Kiera Adams, Peer Advisor
The University of Miami’s Career Expo and Graduate School Fair is Monday, September 19th from 2PM to 6PM at the Bank United Center. It’s a great way to meet recruiters from all different types of fields and make connections to enhance your professional network. An article on the career development website, Live Career, lists many tips on how to navigate a career fair. In this blog, I will be highlighting some of their DO’s and DON’T’s of a career fair and how you can use Toppel as a resource to help.
Do have a specific strategy for maximizing your time at the event
A good way to maximize your time at a career fair is to do your research. Before you go to the event, look up the employers that will be present. For University of Miami students, the Toppel Career Center lists the employers at the Career Expo on the website, Handshake. Log in to Handshake with this link: https://miami.joinhandshake.com/login. On Handshake’s main page, you would go to the left-hand side and click the tab, Fairs, then View Employers. The list shows the names of the companies and some information on what each company does.
By looking at the companies beforehand, you will able to research more about the companies and be prepared when talking to them. Employers will be impressed that you’ve come to the career fair knowing that you’ve done some research.
Do be sure to follow-up with each recruiter
Some experts say to call and leave a message on their voicemail right after the job fair, but at a minimum you should send each recruiter a thank you letter
Some people don’t think to write a thank you letter after they meet a recruiter. The thank you note can help you stand out from the crowd and prove to the recruiter that you are truly interested in making a connection.
Do dress professionally
Even though the career fair is during the school day, you don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed or just came from class. If you need an idea about what to wear, head to this link on the Toppel Website: http://hireacane.miami.edu/resources/dress-for-success/index.html. Another resource Toppel has is called Sebastian’s Closet where Toppel Staff will find business clothes that you can rent and wear.
Don’t just drop your resume on the recruiter’s table and walk off
You should always introduce yourself to the recruiter so that they can put a face to a resume. Dropping off your resume, this would be the time to give an elevator pitch about yourself. The elevator pitch is a quick 30-second “commercial” that tells the employer who you are and what skills you have that would be useful to them.
Don’t forget to eliminate such bad habits
For example, playing with your hair, chewing gum, fidgeting, rocking from side-to-side, acting distracted, rubbing your nose, etc.
Even though this is not a formal interview, employers are still listening to you and deciding whether you would be a good fit for the company. The career fair would also be a good space to practice eliminating bad habits so you don’t do them in an interview setting and also practice interviewing skills.
To see more career fair dos and don’ts: https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/career-job-fair-dos-donts