College Career Fairs 2.0 – The fall edition

 |  Career Connections
Mike Morales

It’s time once again to bring out the pens, key chains, water bottles and business cards … fall career fair season is upon us!

With that in mind, I wanted to focus this month’s blog on additional career fair tips for students and job seekers alike, keeping my previous blog in mind which can be found here.

1.     Be punctual and prepared.
2.     What’s your WOW?

Be Punctual and Prepared
Arrive at the fair early … 15-20 minutes early. There may be an opportunity (depending on your school) to get a head start with recruiters in the booths. There is generally a 20-30 minute downtime for us after we set up our booths to get a cup of coffee, observe the attendee list, check the lunch menu, etc. Don’t be afraid to use this to your advantage! However, if your school is strict about not opening the doors until the official start time, use this time to really focus and hone in on the top five companies you will want to see, and in that order go see them.

Personal observations:

  • Come see me after my booth is set up – 10 minutes before the “official” start time of the fair is excellent.
  • I generally see the most promising students at the fairs in the first two hours. These students are dressed to impress, arrive on time (or early), and have the greatest interest in Sundt and learning about our opportunities. 
  • Fairs get busy, really busy! There are lines for hours at a time with no break in students. Make sure you prepare for a long wait.

What’s your WOW?
When I arrive at a college career fair, I have one goal. To find the BEST STUDENTS the school has to offer and recruit them to Sundt. Our culture here at Sundt is to create and retain leaders at all levels. One strong indicator of your leadership potential is how well you create the WOW factor during your brief time with me at the fair. How can you stand out? Many ways! Take initiative to speak with me BEFORE the fair. If you have researched Sundt and visited our website, you’d see my blog, Sundt’s career fair calendar, job openings, etc. Take that information and call me on the phone (don’t email) and let me know you want to see me at the fair.

Other ideas could be: personalized business cards, letters of recommendation from professors and past internship supervisors, performance reports, school activities, etc. The important thing is to personalize your WOW factor and remember to tailor it to your audience.

Personal Observation:

  • For every 50 students I see at a career fair, one student has reached out to me before the fair to discuss Sundt. Be part of that two percent.
  • I make notes on your resume regarding your WOW factor.
  • After a fair, I immediately review all resumes and write down everything I can remember about our conversation. If I write a lot, chances are you will be interviewed.

All the best this upcoming semester,

Michael Morales