My very own first job was through a career fair, so – needless to say – I’m a big promoter of attending career fairs. They give you an opportunity not only to learn things about a company that their website often won’t convey, but also, give you an opportunity to have a mini interview with them on the spot and give you an opportunity to stand out and stay in their memories.
Step 1: Find your purpose
Not in a Julia Roberts Eat Pray Love kind of way. But you do need to figure out why you’re putting on your best shirt and printing out resumes to go to this career fair. What’s your true motivation, other than it being “just the thing to do”?
Step 2: Lay down a strategy
Now that you’ve figured out what your motivating factor is, it’s time to create a game plan. Your game plan could focus on:
Getting your resume critiqued
If you’d like to have a recruiter look at your resume and critique it, make sure that you’re not expecting them to make you an entirely new resume from scratch. Do your best to polish it beforehand so a recruiter can offer just small tweaks and tips on how to make it even better and pack a punch. Digitally sending out resumes is great, but oftentimes, recruiters get inundated with resumes following a career fair, meaning your resume might not get the kind of individual attention it might get in person.
Be mindful of these additional tips when trying to get your resume critiqued at a career fair:
- Be respectful and cognizant of the fact that there are others that might also be waiting to see the recruiters or wanting their attention
- Bring a hard copy and see if they can jot down a few pointers right on your resume on the spot for you to improve on
With a solid resume foundation to work with and the right attitude, getting your resume critiqued can be an extremely rewarding and validating experience.
What does networking mean to you? Is it just talking to and meeting a lot of people? Sure, it is that. However, you can make the best of networking by being intentional with the details. Make sure you stand out and are memorable in some way. It could be in the way you present yourself or dress; it could be something you say, or it could be how you make someone feel. If you show genuine interest towards someone or the company they represent, they will show interest towards you.
You can research opportunities and companies online to your heart’s content. So, what do you do in a career fair? Do your research on the companies that are attending beforehand and ask them questions about what’s not on their website or not listed within their job posting. Ask about what makes a company different or why people like working there, or better yet, why the person you are speaking to likes working there.
Applying to positions
You can apply to every position online and share your LinkedIn profile and GitHub etc., but a career fair is an opportunity to create a real-life connection with a recruiter. Your application instantly has an edge over a faceless applicant with the same background and qualifications.
Step 3: Prepare your all-important resume!
Writing a resume is as much an art as it is a science. In the tech world, apart from listing all the technologies, languages, databases, and cloud platforms on your resume, including your GitHub link on your resume is essential.
If you’re still a student or a recent graduate, recruiters understand your work experience might be limited and that’s totally fine. Don’t try to pass on a project you have worked on as a job because recruiters can see right through them. Be honest and upfront and showcase any projects that you have worked on and are proud of. Show your passion.
Step 4: Now that you’re in front of a technical recruiter, what do you say/do?
Show genuine interest in the company and its role in the company and the opportunities. Don’t be shy to be opinionated about the languages or technologies you like and the ones you don’t, but make sure you can defend your choices if you really want to impress.
Explain what made you choose a specific topic to pursue a project for, and what your future goals are. If you have examples of technologies you’ve learned on your own, explain what made you choose that technology and what have you done with it ever since.
Step 5: Come see us at a career fair. We can’t wait to talk to you!
Indellient is gearing up to meet you during career fair season. Find us at the following events:
McMaster University Career Fair: September 20th, 2022, in the MUSC Atrium
York University Career Fair: September 22nd, 2022 (10AM – 3PM) in the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building
We’re dedicated to creating an encouraging, inclusive, and fruitful work environment for all of our team members. Check out open opportunities on our Careers page.