Attending a career fair can seem intimidating. Events like the CPCC Career Fair host many employers and attract thousands of job seekers. But often the intimidation stems from myths about career fairs. Let’s set the record straight.
Myth #1: Career Fairs are only for graduating students and alumni.
Reality: Many companies attending the CPCC Career Fair are looking for interns and part-time employees. Current students, this means you! Additionally, undergraduates attending the fair to meet employers and begin networking in their field make a great impression on recruiters.
Myth #2: None of the companies attending are hiring for my program/career interests.
Reality: With over 95 companies attending this year’s event, it’s quite likely your career interests are represented. Use the link that lists attending employers to research which programs companies are targeting. Programs in business, health care, hospitality, technology and more are in great demand.
Myth #3: Professional dress isn’t really necessary since this isn’t a job interview.
Reality: Not only is it necessary, it’s required. Job seekers will not be permitted into the Grady Cole Center unless they’re dressed professionally. You want to make a positive impression at the fair to be contacted for a job interview after the event. Professional dress makes or breaks this impression.
Myth #4: I can just show up the day of the event, no preparation is really needed.
Reality: Students who come to the event unprepared aren’t as successful as those who do. Three key ingredients to career fair are a top-notch resume, a solid employer pitch and effective company research. The Career Services career fair tips page offers ideas for all. Email your resume to a career counselor for a professional critique or schedule an appointment to meet in person.
Myth #5: People don’t get job offers after talking to recruiters at a career fair.
Reality: While job offers aren’t typically given the day of the event, solid candidates can expect follow up emails or phone calls inviting them for interviews. With so many job searching resources out there, career fairs are still ranked as one of the top recruiting tools by students and employers alike.
Myth #6: If I attend, all I have to do is give my resume to the recruiter.
Reality: This approach guarantees your resume gets placed in the “no” pile. With a confident smile and firm handshake, introduce yourself and offer your elevator speech that explains both your interest in the company and your qualifications for the job opportunities. Doing so catches the recruiter’s attention.
Myth #7: With over 90 companies attending, it’s too overwhelming and pointless.
Reality: The idea of visiting over 95 company tables is overwhelming. But a targeted approach makes the event more manageable. Not every company has opportunities that you’re interested in or qualified for. Research companies ahead of time. Figure out which ones are recruiting your background. Use this information to map out a plan of recruiters you’ll talk to.
Myth #8: My skills and background don’t match what companies are looking for.
Reality: Don’t judge a company by its name. You might be surprised where your qualifications match. And you won’t know unless you attend.
Preparation is key to a successful career fair. Now that your career fair fears have been dispelled, get busy getting ready for next month’s event!