Career Fairs, like Employer Expo (on 9/25) and other networking events are a great chance for you to learn about different career fields and companies, get information from employers, and gain contacts to use in your job or internship search. No sign up is necessary to attend the Employer Expo but sign ups are necessary for the fairs we do off campus (like the NYC Communications, Arts & Entertainment Fair on October 30th).
Companies attend these events for a variety of reasons: to increase awareness about their organization or the opportunities they offer; to identify potential candidates for future hiring needs; or to fill specific positions that may currently be available. The Bucknell alumni and parents who attend CDC networking events are enthusiastic about sharing information regarding their career paths, as well as assisting students with networking.
Here are some guidelines to help you make the most of the experience:
- Follow @HireABison to get updates on employer information sessions before and after the fair – and a glimpse into what companies will be here!
- Considering going to an Expo Prep Session (9/19, 4pm, ELC 241 or 9/20, Noon, ELC Center Room)
- Review the list of the [over 90!] companies attending on the Bridge and take time to research the organizations that interest you. Try to determine how your skills and experience fits in with each and be sure to note what they are planning to discuss with students.
- Have a “plan of attack” – make a list of the top 5-10 participants who you hope to speak during the event.
- Come to a Resume Session (offered 9/4, 9/13, 9/20) to get you started on your resume or polishing it up. Consider preparing a version of your resume that is relevant to the particular employers you will be seeing at the event, and bring an ample number of copies
- Once you’ve created a resume, PRINT IT OUT and stop by the CDC for RESUMANIA (9/20 and 9/24 from 11:30 – 3:30) to get it reviewed before going to the fair. And don’t forget to grab some free resume paper while you are here.
- Prepare a 30-second “commercial” about yourself that enthusiastically outlines your background, skills, interests, and goals. This will help you to begin a conversation, especially if you are nervous.
- Mentally prepare some questions for each participating organization you are targeting; this list may help.
- Consider getting your LinkedIn profile in order and learn how to use LinkedIn strategically for career fairs . We have two LinkedIn Workshops to get you ready: 9/6 and 9/11, details on the Bridge.
AT THE EVENT:
- Have your BUID with you so we can scan it at the event when you enter.
- Dress professionally in your nicest business or business casual attire; know what is and is not appropriate to wear. Check out our boards on Pinterest for some good guidelines and ideas.
- Collect brochures or other materials the participants may have available at the event.
- If there are long lines for some participants, visit first with those who are not as busy. Don’t be afraid to take a risk and speak with a participant with whom you hadn’t originally planned on speaking.
- Remember that some participants will have to pack up early, so make the most of the time you have.
- Stop by our LinkedIn Photo Booth in the student lounge to get a FREE professional photo for your profile
- Use #BucknellCareer while you are there!
WHEN SPEAKING WITH PARTICIPANTS AT THE EVENT:
- Greet them with a firm handshake and a friendly smile.
- Be sure to maintain good eye contact throughout your conversation.
- Let them know if you are interested in a specific opportunity or are interested in obtaining information about the industry or their organization.
- Show that you have researched their industry and organization through informed comments and questions.
- Enthusiastically communicate your qualifications, interests, career goals, and sincere interest in their organization or industry.
- Treat these events as an opportunity to learn as much information as possible, but don’t ask questions related to salary and benefits. Such questions are not appropriate in a networking interaction unless it is an info interview. (Check with the CDC for salary information.)
- Don’t monopolize the participants’ time if there are other students waiting. Ask for a business card and how you should follow up after the event.
- If you feel intimidated, remind yourself the participants want to be at the event and talk with you!
- See if any of the companies you are interested in are offering any Information Sessions (CDC Calendar) after Expo
- Within a few days, be sure to write to the participants with whom you spoke, thanking them for their time and information. We have Thank You cards available in the CDC, free for your use
- Check the Bridge to see which participants will be conducting on-campus interviews or resume referrals.
- If the organization you are interested is not conducting on-campus interviewing or resume referrals, be sure to maintain contact with the appropriate individuals.
Make sure you mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 25th for the #BucknellCareer Expo and watch for the events and employer sessions that will happen before and after the Expo.