What’s in it for you: Why you should attend the Career Fair

Photo by Michael James

Many students feel intimidated by the concept of attending a career fair in which well-known, well-established companies are in attendance. 

The thought of putting yourself on display and offering up your resumes, skills and talents in hopes of impressing these companies can be overwhelming to most.

The Technique understands the feeling very well. 

Coming in as a freshman, the Career Fair might seem like a distant worry. 

We keep telling ourselves that we have time and that we need not worry about our future careers and finding internships.

While this is an easy way to think, it causes students to miss out on the benefits and value of attending the Career Fair. 

The benefits of attending the fair are overlooked more often than not. 

Even if students do not leave the venue with an offer for a job or internship, the experience itself is a great way to gain exposure into the business world.

Learning how to dress professionally and present yourself to employers is a crucial aspect of the hiring process and is something the Career Fair offers students the chance to learn. 

With an attire guide and an abundance of preparation resources offered through the Technique and other campus resources like the Career Center, students are able to come into the fair ready for success.

Having a good resume and cover letter on hand is another skill that students pick up from attending the fair. 

It is important to have these documents prepared before applying to jobs and internships outside of the Institute’s resources.

Another key benefit of the Career Fair is gaining experience talking to professionals in your field of interest. 

The way we address and converse with our peers is very different from how we should talk to employers. 

There is a level of respect and professionalism that prospective employees must keep in mind when speaking to employers.

In a sense, speaking to companies at a career fair is a form of interview prep. 

The questions they ask are very similar to questions you may be asked at an official interview, and you get to work on your short elevator pitch describing your educational background and goals 

One thing that many students struggle with when coming into college is deciding on a career path beyond their major. 

While the general direction and field they want to pursue may be clear, most students are unsure about what careers and career path beyond their major they may enjoy. 

The Career Fair allows students to explore different areas and job positions within fields in order to help them narrow their scope during their job search and try out different occupations — it is a good way to test out different career options before entering the business world. 

One of the more disregarded, but important benefits of going to the career fair is the networking and connections you can form from simply showing up. 

By attending, students expose themselves to different companies and get their name out there to recruiters. 

Striking up conversation with professionals in the industry is a good way to not only gain more business knowledge, but also create memorable moments with people who can potentially offer you a job. 

Because many different companies are in attendance, students also have the opportunity to compare them alongside each other. 

This includes their differing values, job descriptions, salaries and employee benefits. 

It simplifies the job search process by helping students narrow down their interests and by finding companies that fit into their criteria. 

If you are on the fence about attending the Career Fair this year, this is your sign to go. 

Even if you do not feel prepared or are unsure about the value you will gain from going, it is in your best interest to put yourself out there and experience what the Career Fair has to offer you. The experience itself is worth it.