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How to stand out at the Career Fair

January 9, 2018 — 


What: Career Fair
When: Wednesday, Jan. 17, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. & Thursday, Jan. 18, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Where: 2nd Floor University Centre

Career fairs are perfect opportunities to make meaningful connections with employers, learn about the labour market and even land a job. That’s why Career Services has organized a two-day Career Fair for students and alumni to connect directly with the world of work. To get the most of this event, here are some tips to stand out at the January Career Fair.

Create a list of employers in advance. A lot of students show up to the fair and wander the aisles until a booth catches their eye. Sometimes this works, but you run the risk of missing an awesome employer. Career Services publishes a complete list of who is attending each day of the Career Fair, linking directly to every employer’s website. Create a list of employers that pique your interest, and expand your research so you can get a strong sense of the organization.

Prepare what you’ll say. You will be introducing yourself multiple times at the Career Fair, so it makes sense to create an introduction, or elevator pitch, in advance. Register for a Career Fair Prep Workshop to practice or check out the job search workbook . You should also prepare specific questions for each employer based on your research. The more informed you are, the easier it will be to position yourself as a star candidate with genuine interest in the organization.

Write a really good resumé. You probably have a resumé, but there is always room for improvement. Targeted resumés that showcase the key skills required by a particular employer are more likely to lead to an interview. We have plenty of opportunities for resumé help before the fair:

  • Career Café: get resumé and career advice from real hiring managers, January 9, 10am – 1pm Fireside Lounge, University Centre
  • Resumé Blitz: January 10, 10:30 am – 3:00 pm 474 University Centre
  • Resumé Learning Centre, open 9am – 4pm daily, 474 University Centre
  • Use the online Resumé Workbook

Make a good first impression. An easy place to start is with a smile, eye contact, and a handshake. You should also think about what you’ll wear. Business casual usually works, though some students do suit up for the Career Fair. A good rule of thumb is to dress like you would for a job interview: one notch up from what you’d wear at work. If you need help, our Career Fair Prep Workshop will include fashion advice.

Be brave. This one isn’t easy. Career fairs tend to yank the majority of us out of our comfort zones. Still, networking can be the secret ingredient to a successful job search and support career decision making, so it’s worth it. Preparation will help you feel more confident entering uncertain situations, and less nervous about approaching booths at the Career Fair. If you need support, chatting with a Career Consultant about your strategy or signing up for a Career Fair Prep session are great places to start.

Don’t miss out on the other events happening during Career Month. See a complete list of events on CareerCONNECT.

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