Conquer the Career Fair

Tis the season of juniors seeking summer internships and seniors seeking their first steps into the real world. Luckily, IU provides a mass of resources for students prowling the job market. From resume critiques to mock interviews, the Career Development Center has your back. One of the most beneficial resources the CDC offers is career and internship fairs. While these events bring dozens of employers to campus for you to shmooze with, don't expect to just walk in and get a job. This is how you conquer the career fair:

1. Know before you go

A list of employers is always available in advance of the career fair. While it may seem like a go-getter attitude to hit every employer present, this is unrealistic and not a benefit to your job search. Pick 7-10 employers you want to meet then look through their website to find what the company is all about. Jot down a question or two so your conversation with the representative has a purpose. Don't dumbly hand them your resume. 

2. Remember it's a two-way street

Yes, you want something the employer has to give: a job. But don't go in the career fair with that mindset. Remember the job search is really about finding the right job, not just any job. You want to see if you're a good fit for the company so loosen up and be yourself. Try to have a real conversation instead of rambling out a couple "seeking a postions" and "using my skillsets."

3. End with bang

Instead of walking up and immediately shoving a resume in the employer's face, wait until the end of your initial conversation. Ask what the next step is in the process of applying and remember to shake hands, say thank you for their time, and leave on a high note.

Career and internship fairs can seem intimidating, but if you go prepared and remember to be yourself, you'll be on your way to finding the right career for yourself instead of just a job!

About The Author
Lauren McConnellClas of 2013 - English Major and Arts Management Certificate

I'm a student at Indiana University and am very involved on campus! I work as a copy-editor and reporter for the Indiana Daily Student and am an editor for Arbutus. I also have a press relations internship with IU Liberian Collections and am a committee chair for Independent Council, an organization for women interested in philanthropy in a social atmosphere. With all these experiences, I can't imagine spending my college years anywhere but Indiana!