Five things I learned at the BizTech Career Fair
This is my first semester at Sheridan. Having graduated in May 2012, you can imagine that this “going back to school thing” has not been an easy process. What encourages me on a daily basis, however, is the prospect of new career opportunities.
Here at Sheridan, there are many ways students can start preparing for the job market from Day 1, including: getting help improving your resume, becoming a club member, and of course, participating in job fairs.
The BizTech Career Fair last week at the Davis campus brought in more than 80 local employers, such as TD Bank, Accenture, Deloitte, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Charger Logistics.
Eager to learn more about the local job market and to see if I could strike up some good conversations with employer representatives, I printed a few copies of my resume and headed to Davis.
Here are my five key takeaways from participating at the fair:
1. Be prepared
Yes! Be prepared…I cannot emphasize that enough. Before going to the fair, I counted on the help of a career counselor to review my resume and suggest several details that I had overlooked. Also, do not rely on your resume to tell a potential employer about who you are and what you have done. Be prepared to talk about it on the spot. At one of the booths when I stopped to chat with a recruiter, he asked for a copy of my resume and also started asking me questions based on it. It was basically an impromptu interview!
2. Be Curious and Open
I had checked out beforehand the list of employers that were going to be there, trying to see who I wanted to focus on. There is nothing wrong with that. On the contrary, it helps you focus and do your research ahead of time. However, be open to other possibilities. Once you are at the fair, be curious and see what opportunities arise. You may be surprised!
3. Go with a Friend
For some people, applying for jobs and speaking to recruiters can be very intimidating. For others, job fairs may not sound the most exciting thing altogether. In either situation, going with a friend can make all the difference. I went with a friend from my classes and it was nice to exchange information and have someone there with me to relieve some of the pressure. In my opinion, when thinking about careers and jobs, it is very helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off back and forth.
4. Be Enthusiastic
This is one of those lessons that I try to take with me everywhere I go. Enthusiasm is contagious and can turn situations around for the better. I am not saying that we should walk around with fake smiles and pretend everything is wonderful all the time. Rather, I believe we should strive to look for opportunities everywhere we go. When we train our eyes to behave like that, we will walk around with joy and confidence. Employers want to see that. What type of posture are you displaying to employers? Are you enthusiastic to join their company?
5. Follow Up
I think by the time I left the fair, I had collected 10 business cards, taken several flyers, and given all my resumes away. What I was going to do with all that material is just as important as preparing for the event in the first place. Follow up with recruiters. Drop them a line to thank them for their time and express your interest, once again, in joining their company. Remember that they saw a lot of students that day. How will you stand out? I find that another great way to follow up is via LinkedIn, which has become an indispensable tool in the professional world.
Have you been to career fairs before? Share your experiences with us!
By Tatiana Almeida