Preparing For A Career Fair
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Preparing For A Career Fair

Geneva College student pictured smiling at last year's on-campus career fair.

Career fairs can be incredibly beneficial, but they can also be very overwhelming. Career fairs bring many potential employers all into one place, at one time, with the goal of hiring. Is worth it to brave the crowds and attempt to find job opportunities at a career fair? Yes! And here is why.

Save Time: For one thing, career fairs can save you time. Trying to find an internship or a job can be a daunting task. Finding jobs to apply for and going through the application process is a very time-consuming endeavor. Career fairs can save you a lot of the time it takes to find the companies you might be interested in. You can put your best foot forward in front of multiple employers in one afternoon.

Meet Recruiters: Another benefit of a career fair is that you can meet the company’s recruiters. Many job applications today are online, and there is very little interaction with company employees until late in the hiring process. At a career fair, you can meet with people that work for the companies they represent. This interaction can be valuable as you try to discern what job will work for you.

Expand Horizons: There is also a lot of diversity at a career fair. There will be many different companies that occupy different fields. A career fair is a great place to branch out and find new opportunities that you might not have considered otherwise. Companies of all kinds need a variety of employees. Engineering companies may need marketing employees, and healthcare companies may need accountants. Career fairs bring together a wide variety of companies that have various hiring needs. You might be surprised at the opportunities you find!

Emily Wilson shared her experience with attending a career fair. “I went to the career fair in the spring of 2022 fully NOT expecting them to have what I was looking for; a camp for individuals with disabilities. My friend convinced me to go and sure enough, Camp Echoing Hills had a table.... it was exactly what I was looking for. I worked there over the summer, and it was the best experience of my life. It opened the door to endless opportunities and helped me discover more about myself and my calling. I realized my love for caregiving which has led to even more job opportunities.” Your experience will not be the exact same as Emily’s, but you will never know what opportunities are out there if you don’t try.

How Do I Prepare for a Career Fair?

Attire: You should plan to dress nicely. Showing effort, responsibility, and intentionality by dressing professionally means a lot to employers. It is recommended that you should dress similarly to how you would dress to attend an interview. First impressions are key in professional environments, and you can set yourself up for success by dressing like a professional.

Resume: You should also write or refine your resume. A resume is a very useful document that includes your name, contact information, and experience that you can give to a potential employer. When going to a career fair you should have multiple printed copies of your resume that you can give out as you meet with people. How many should you bring? This answer can vary significantly, but a smart idea would be to research the companies that will be at the fair, identify ones you are interested in, and bring that number of resumes, plus 5- remember, you never know what surprise opportunities or connections you may find. If you cannot research the companies beforehand, plan to bring around 10-20 copies of your resume.

Supplies: It might also be useful for you to bring with you a notebook and a folder. You will likely be receiving a lot of information. A notebook can be useful for remembering important details from your conversations, and a folder can be useful for containing any fliers or business cards you will receive during the event.

Career fairs can certainly be overwhelming but trying to conquer the job search alone is also overwhelming. By stepping out of your comfort zone and attending a career fair, you could be setting yourself up for a perfect job opportunity. There have been many cases where students have been offered a job or internship before they even leave the fair. So, take a chance and explore all of the possibilities available to you.

For any other questions about career fairs, building your resume, or discovering your career path, reach out to the Calling and Career Center. They are a valuable resource for you as you discover where God is leading you.



-Mattigan Burleigh '24

Opinions expressed in the Geneva Blog are those of its contributors and do not necessarily represent the opinions or official position of the College. The Geneva Blog is a place for faculty and contributing writers to express points of view, academic insights, and contribute to national conversations to spark thought, conversation, and the pursuit of truth, in line with our philosophy as a Christian, liberal arts institution.

Feb 10, 2023