By Audrey Inniger, Campus Recruiting Program Manager at Vantiv
What do you expect to get out of a career fair? Are you looking for an internship? Or a full time job after graduation? The companies attending definitely have expectations for their future employees, as well!
What are we looking for? Here are some things you can do to make a great impression:
- Make Eye Contact – Eye contact signals to employers that you are actively listening and paying attention to what they are saying.
- Have a Firm Handshake – Match the grip of the person whose hand you are shaking, shake from your elbow and not your wrist, and follow the two second rule. A good firm handshake signals that you are confident, driven and prepared.
- Dress to Impress – Don’t dress for a career fair the same way you would dress on the job. Often times you dress more casually on the job than you would during an interview. You have to get the job before you can dress like someone who already has the job, so dress to impress!
- Have an Elevator Pitch – Be prepared to sell yourself in 30-90 seconds. Start with a short intro about yourself then talk about your experience, your career goals, and why you’re both interested in the company and why you’d make a great fit.
- Share What Makes You Unique – Be able to tell the employer what makes you different compared to all the other students. Make sure they remember you after a long day meeting with countless students!
- Show Initiative – Don’t expect the recruiter to tell you what next steps are or to provide you with their business card. Be proactive – Ask for a business card and make sure you walk away knowing what the next steps are.
With the tips I’ve shared, you’ll be able to present your best self and shine!
When I was asked to write this post, there were many different ways I could have gone. Throughout my four years there have been many great memories created, tough times endured, and stressful situations resolved. But out of everything, the best piece of advice I have to offer did not come to mind until my first semester senior year. And although it is easier said than done, there is a common theme or trait between all FSB students that I hope this advice can help with.
The best piece of advice I can give you is to live in the moment. I understand the importance of staying on top of your career search and planning ahead for school, but sometimes we get a little too caught up in it. For example, as underclassmen you will constantly hear conversations in Farmer about the fear of never getting an internship, failing a class, or simply just not knowing what to do with your lives. Looking back, I was definitely one of those students. Also, looking back I would say that I definitely wasted time and energy on stressing out over nothing.
To elaborate, while yes the process of getting an internship or job or studying for multiple exams you have in the next few days is very stressful, there is no reason to lose sleep over this stress. We have all heard about Miami’s statistics regarding job placement and all of the success stories that came out of this school. If you work hard, you will be one of them. Don’t add stress. We live in one of the best college towns in America, enjoy your time here! Everything will work out if you put in the effort.
Also, one final thing, take advantage of the time you have in college. Believe it or not, we will be way busier after school in the real world. Don’t be afraid to study abroad, go on weekend trips, and check as much out as you can. You will never have the opportunity again to plan a trip 24 hours in advance because you found a great deal last minute. These are where some of my greatest memories have been created. Make memories with your friends and don’t stress out, these are some of the greatest four years in your life, enjoy them to the fullest!