Many students nowadays do not see the value in attending career fairs. In fact, many view career fairs as a waste of time. They wonder, “Why go to career fairs when I can just as easily find jobs online?” Well, simply put, career fairs offer certain benefits that online job site do not, and these benefits can often make it worth the time.
What Benefits does a Career Fair Offer Me?
1. Face to Face time
When you search for jobs online, sure, it’s quick and easy, but you lose one of the most important aspects to the job search. Face to face time. Face to face time with employers is very useful, and by attending career fairs you can meet various different employers and talk to them in person and make a true good impression.Besides making an impression about yourself, it allows you to get a good idea of the workplace environment by noticing how enthusiastic (or not) the employer is about their company. Face to Face time is simply one of the most important and beneficial parts of a job search. Presenting yourself as a person, not a piece of paper or a file on someone’s computer separates you from other candidates searching for jobs.
2. Interview Practice
Networking at career fairs gives you the chance to talk to and meet new people, but it also gives to the chance to practice your elevator pitch or to get ready for interviews. Meeting with actual people instead of just chatting online will help you get ready for a real interview and help you feel more confident talking to real people in person instead of online.
3. New Opportunities
At a career fair, the host will often list the employers that will be there, and attendees generally tend to mark a few that they’d like to speak to that day. However, career fairs aren’t just a place to meet specific employers, they’re also a place to find new opportunities you may have never known existed.When you search for jobs online, you’re searching for specific things and you only see what you searched for; when you go to a career fair, you can see specific employers you want to but also have the chance to browse around and learn about new companies or positions.
In order to make the most of your time at a career fair, proper preparation is a necessary step. You can’t go to the career fair with an old resume and no knowledge of what companies will be there, yet still expect to land a job. A few things to do to prepare:
- Update your Resume. Make sure your resume is updated. If you give employers an old copy, you won’t be showcasing all of your accomplishments and experience. Keep it up to date!
- Know the Attending Employees.Career fairs provide a list of who will be attending the fair. Search the list for companies that may be of interest to you, then do a bit of research on them so that you are prepared to speak to them at the fair.
- Have a pitch, questions, and information ready. Before going to a career fair, be ready to present yourself professionally to the employers. Make sure you have some sort of elevator pitch about yourself ready, as well as some questions about the companies.
Going to a career fair shouldn’t be a waste of time. In the end, you will only get out of a career fair what you put into it. So be sure to prepare yourself fully to make the most out of your time at a career fair.