The Fall Career & Internship Fair is right around the corner! Come join us this Wednesday, September 21st any time between 11:30am-3:30pm at the RAC to meet 140 employers who are eager to engage with students from our UMBC community. In the days remaining, we have the following tips and recommendations for how to get the most out of your Career Fair experience.
Specifically, we want to show our True G.R.I.T to the employers so they know how impressive UMBC students are! To get G.R.I.T ready, you can follow these steps:
G - Get Your Facts! The purpose of a career fair is to practice your networking skills, connect with specific employers, and explore available opportunities. For this reason, we recommend that you review the employer directory prior to arrival at the Career Fair. Use this tool to identify employers of interest, especially those who are recruiting in your major to link up with those who will be a good match for your career interests. Also be sure to double check logistics such as the time and location to maximize your time at the Fair.
Plan to dress to impress in business casual or even business formal attire. However, don't let attire be a barrier to attendance - the goal is to make a good impression so wear something that makes you feel confident and you'll be off to a great start. Check out this link for some ideas.
R - Resume Ready! What does a "ready" resume look like? It includes contact information with a professional email address (such as your UMBC email) and highlights your education, skills, and experience. Check out some samples here. You will want to print out multiple copies of your resume to bring with you, along with pens and a note pad - or a way to take notes virtually - and something to collect business cards. You may want to leave heavy bags, backpacks, and coffee cups at home so your hands aren't full as you visit the employer's booths. Due to space limitations, we will not be able to store any of your belongings during the Career Fair.
If you have questions about your resume, come to Drop-In Hours at the Career Center every weekday (Monday - Friday) from 2-4pm to get your resume reviewed - no appointment needed!
You may also want to use this opportunity to try out your 30-second commercial. A 30-second commercial - or elevator pitch - is where you identify yourself, highlight a few strengths and accomplishments, and share your career goals - all in 30 seconds or less. Check out this link for additional guidance on crafting your pitch. You can also practice your pitch by using Big Interview. A good place to start is with the universal question: "Tell me about yourself."
I - In it to Win it! You arrive at the Fair - you're IN it! Now what? Keep in mind first impressions, eye contact, a firm handshake - and don't forget your confidence. Remember: health and safety are a first priority at the Career Fair, so if you prefer not to shake hands - which is an option that will be respected - pick up a red wristband at the check-in table. Be sure to bring your employer list with you and prioritize your visits accordingly. You can get your network started as you engage with employers through asking questions, taking notes, and collecting information. Don't forget to pick up business cards and company resources from each booth you visit - these will be essential for the last step below.
If you find you need a breather during the fair or want to grab a snack or drink, the Disability Advocate Union welcomes you to the Relaxation Space on the track level of the RAC! Stop by for a reaffirming chat with a club member, light refreshments, or for a quiet moment to yourself.
T - Take it From Here! After the Career Fair, make sure to follow-up with your new connections. This can include LinkedIn networking message requests, submission of a resume or other documents if requested, and following the organizations on LinkedIn and Handshake. Be sure to complete any action items recommended by employers, such as going to their website to submit an application. Remember details of conversations, jot down talking points, and craft professional correspondence that helps to solidify your image in the recruiter's mind.
As you start submitting applications for those internships or jobs of interest you identified at the Fair, schedule a 30- or 60-min Interview Preparation appointment to get ready for the next part of the job search process.
We look forward to seeing you at the Career Fair!