March 12, 2020
What is it?
Career Fair is an opportunity for SAU Students and Alumni to meet with companies and organizations from the region and learn about the opportunities that are available. Attendees can meet with recruiters, learn about graduate school programs, pick up applications and brochures and distribute their resumes. Career Fair is held each Spring semester. Business Casual or Professional attire is required.
What to expect:
- Some companies will send representatives- Some companies will send regular employees while others will send HR representatives. It is important to know who you are talking to and ask your questions accordingly.
- One-on-One Interviews- These give companies the chance to interview many applicants in a short period of time.
- Networking Opportunities- You will have the opportunity to meet employers and administrators from different companies. Network effectively so that when companies have positions in your area open up at a later date, they remember you. Be prepared to introduce yourself and describe your background and aspirations in 30 seconds or so. Research and pick a few companies/organizations to be sure to visit with.
- Organizations- Some of our attendees are state offices and organizations, as well as graduate schools. They have positions open and opportunities to further your degree as well.
- Competition- Because you are in competition with your fellow career fair attendees, you must stand out from the crowd. Dress in business attire, bring a stack of resumes and act professionally. Your first impression is important when meeting so many potential employers simultaneously.
- Further Actions- Some of the groups/companies will ask you to apply online instead of at the Career Fair. Bring a notebook with you to write down any further actions you may need to take after the fair.
How to Prepare:
- Have a Plan: Find out what employers will be at the Career Fair and what type of business they are in. Look at their website, ask if anyone you know works for or with them, and look at news reports and press releases. Employers will be organized alphabetically so, plan out who your top picks are to visit with.
- Have a “pitch”: It is important to be able to introduce yourself quickly while promoting your skills. Write out a “pitch” or “commercial” about yourself. Make sure you connect your background with the employer. Have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact throughout. Deliver your resume after.
- Have multiple copies of your resume: Bring at least 20-30 copies of your resume on resume paper to the Career Fair. Make sure your resume is up-to-date and grammatically correct. Bring a notepad and pen with you. Some employers cannot accept hard copy resumes and will ask you to apply online.
Career Services will critique your cover letter and resume for FREE. Contact us to make an appointment.
- Have key questions: Your questions for the employers will depend on your goals for the Career Fair. Do you want to find out more about a specific field or company? Are you looking for a job? Employers want employees who are proactive, thoughtful and listen well. Make yourself stand out with smart questions.
- Don’t ask about:
– Information you could have easily learned on the employer’s website.
– Salary and benefits. (The employer’s representative should initiate discussion of those topics. A job/career fair is not the place for a job seeker to initiate this.)
- Do ask for information you could not find on the employer’s website.
Examples of good questions:
– What kind of person are you seeking for the(se) position(s)?
– What particular skills do you value most?
– What do you like about working for your company?
(Remember that some employers have employee testimonials on their website. Check those out in advance.)
– What are current issues that your company is facing that would have an impact on new hires?
- Don’t ask about:
- Dress well. Our fair’s dress code is business casual/interview. First impressions do count so, give thought to what you wear.
- Business casual is usually the middle ground between business formal and street wear. There are many examples of what is considered business casual online.
- Clothing should provide enough coverage to cover midriff, thighs, cleavage, and lower back
Benefits of attending:
- Face-to-face interaction- Career Fair gives employers a chance to bond face-to-face with highly qualified students and graduates. It also allows the student/graduate to get first-hand information about a company/organization from the representative. Attendees are more likely to get valuable and accurate information from the representative than the website.
- Saves money- SAU’s Career Fair is free to students and alumni. At our career fair, you can meet with up to 50 employers in one day while only making one trip.
- Make networking contacts- Make a positive impression on employers and begin to establish your professional image by distinguishing yourself from other candidates. You can also practice speaking professionally and expand your career contacts network.
- Learn more about what is available- You have the opportunity to learn more about specific industries, careers, internships and opportunities available to you.