Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My First Career Fair Experience

When I think back to my first career fair experience three things come to mind: sweaty palms, nerves and a lack of preparedness.  Although I was dressed to impress and had brought several copies of my resume with me, I went to the fair to talk to only ONE company.  I never even approached another business.  I went straight to the booth I wanted, dropped off my resume and quickly shook the representative’s hand before I scurried home.  Looking back on this experience I can’t help but wonder “WHAT WAS I THINKING??!” Yes I know I was feeling intimidated and overwhelmed, but I wish I had not been so closed minded and nervous. 

If I had the chance to do it all over again this is what I would do:
I     -I would have my resume critiqued by MUCSC and printed on resume paper (also available for          free in MUCSC)
-      -I would create business cards ($3 for 30 in MUCSC) and hand those out along with my resume
-        -I would push myself to visit more companies and map out a plan-of-attack ahead of time
-         -I would remind myself that this is a great learning opportunity
-         -I would create a 60 second commercial telling each company representative more about “Sam” (more then what can be read on my resume)
-        -I would practice and then re-practice my handshake
-        -I would tell myself to take a deep breath and not be so nervous

I know my experience would have been a lot different (and more relaxed) had I prepared for the fair more in advance.

With that in mind, I give you my last piece of advice: Determine what you want to achieve at a career fair and decide the best approach for getting the job done. No one ever said finding a job or internship was easy, but by planning early and using resources like the MUCSC, the road can be a lot less stressful. 

Good luck my friends and remember to just be you J   

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