Top 5 Tips to Stand Out at a Career Fair

September 6, 2018

With Labor Day in our rearview mirrors, we have our eyes set on upcoming career fairs. Each interaction at a career fair is critical. At Aronson, we go to great lengths to prepare for these events. Here are 5 things candidates must do to make the most of your upcoming career fair.

1.   Research, Research, Research!

Don’t be that candidate who walks up to a booth and says “What does (insert company name here) do?” Look into the companies ahead of time and pick out which ones match your interests. Have a general understanding of who they are and what they do. A little bit of research will allow you to prioritize your top companies, so you can get the most out of the fair. Visit these booths first or after you’ve warmed up and built confidence.

2.   Look the part.

First impressions are critical. Do your best to look professional—body language included. At Aronson, our “dress for your day” policy allows team members to wear jeans if their client schedule allows. It’s best, however, that you err on the conservative side and wear a business suit. Take that wrinkly white shirt to a dry cleaner or find a classmate with an iron!

3.   Practice your elevator pitch.

Can you succinctly respond when I ask you to “tell me about yourself?” It’s not as easy as you may think, especially when you’re speaking with a company representative of your desired employer. Try writing out your elevator pitch beforehand and then practice it out loud. It should be about 30 seconds long. Depending on how busy their booth is, you might only have two minutes to talk to an employer, so it’s best you allow time to hear about the company and ask your follow-up questions.  Speaking of that…

4.   Prepare questions.

As pointed out above, you have limited time to make an impression, so make the most of it! What is that one question you could ask to glean the most important information AND differentiate yourself from the rest of the candidates who ask the most standard boilerplate questions? We are lucky to meet a lot of really great candidates but the ones who shine are those who engage us in thought-provoking discussion.

5.   Send a personalized follow-up email & LinkedIn Connection.

If we had a dollar for every candidate who said “I never heard back”… We’d have a lot of dollars! Aronson’s Talent Acquisition Team will surely follow-up and encourage formal applications. Heck, we might even invite you to interview on the spot! But, don’t leave it up to chance.  Send a personalized thank you email to reiterate your interest and continue the engagement. Most if not all recruiting professionals are on LinkedIn—look them up and send them a personalized connection request. (And don’t forget, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and filled out.)

Aronson recruiters and team members will be hitting the road starting today at Virginia Tech! Here’s the rest of our upcoming travel schedule:

  • James Madison University (JMU): September 12th
  • University of Maryland (UMD): September 14th & 17th
  • American University (AU): September 17th
  • Pennsylvania State University (Penn State): September 18th

If you don’t find us at a campus near you, please take a moment to learn more about career opportunities at our firm and reach out today!