September 17, 2013

Op-Ed: How to Nail a Career Fair

Since graduating from Cornell, I’ve accumulated over 3 years of job hunting experience.  I’ve attended career fairs at dozens of institutions across the country and spoken to hundreds of company representatives. My knowledge of the career fair circuit is unparalleled, so with my tips you’ll be well on your way to turning heads at this year’s event.

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office? Prove it. Throw some clip art in that résumé.

  • When it comes to talking to representatives from companies, there’s no such thing as too much touching.

  • Selling yourself is only half the battle. Make sure to point out the weaknesses of other prospective employees as well.

  • Employers are impressed when you know to ask the right questions. Make sure to find out how much money you will make, how much money they make, and whether you will be drug tested.

  • End the conversation on your own terms. It’s best to leave while the person you’re speaking to is mid-sentence.

  • Dress well, but wear something that will stand out. Like a leather jacket. And aviators. Remember, you want them to think you’re cool.

  • Try to connect with your recruiter on a non-superficial level. Find out everything you can about a representative’s family, personal life, and medical history.

  • Appropriate methods of follow up include personal emails, Linked-In, and waiting for them in their car.

  • Need to pad your resume? Just Lie.

  • Do your research in advance. Print out the Wikipedia pages of all relevant companies for easy reference.

  • Let them know you’re up to date on today’s biggest headlines. Buzzfeed is a reliable source that covers important topics like Breaking Bad, Salsa recipes, and 27 Reasons you Might be a 90’s Kid.

  • First impressions are important. Enter with a smoke bomb.

  • Check your phone during conversations so you look busy and involved on campus.

  • Remember, its not about the end result. It’s about enjoying the career fair experience.

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