Career Fairs “Its What You Make It”

Posted: April 15, 2010 in Helpful Professional Notes
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I attended this years Eagle Expo Career Fair and I most say as a public relations major I wasn’t really impressed with the selection of companies. There weren’t any PR firms in attendence and those who were looking for communications art students were only looking for upcoming seniors and juniors. This really irritated me until I started to realized how many businesses were there and I started to seek the businesses that interested me. One of the first places I went to was Coca-Cola. They had a really nice set up and it seemed like just about every person at the fair was interested. So after waiting for seemed like forever, I finally got a chance to talk to the rep about some opportunities. Unfortunately they weren’t looking for any PR work but I did get some information about there marketing summer internship that I’m currently still up for.  I also had a chance to talk to Walgreens about a possible store manager position that they would train and prep me for, so I was definitely excited about that.  One of the last companies I talked to was Wachovia. I’ve always a interest in working for Wachovia since I my freshman year so when I saw their rep there I got alittle exicited and nerves.  We actually talk for a good while about a few postions inside the company including  HR consultants, customer service and operations manager. He also gave me some insight into what Wells Fargo was looking for in applicants and they were some of the same exact things that my parents and professors were telling me along.  

So after looking a back on my last Eagle Expo & Carreer Fair experience, I realized that your opportunities to get to the next level are out there you just have to find them sometimes. I definitely went to the expo dissapointed because of the company selection but after just digging alittle the experience got progressively better. So here are a few tips that can help you get the most of any Career Fair

Tips to Get the Most Out of Career Fairs

  • Come prepared. Before the fair you can review the online directory of employers and their job opportunities. If you spend a little time getting some background on an organization, then you can ask very focused and specific questions. This impresses representatives because it shows a genuine interest in them.
  • Dress appropriately. First impressions are important. While campus attire is acceptable for fairs, you will probably be most comfortable if you at least dress in “business casual.”
  • Get comfortable. When you arrive, take a few minutes to review the map and directory for the fair. You may feel more comfortable if you quickly locate and walk by the employers in whom you’re most interested. This will confirm their location and alert you to any crowds or lines of other students waiting.
  • Pace Yourself. If your schedule allows, you may find it easiest to start with the employers in which you’re the least interested. This will allow you to hone your approach and to be most confident when you approach the employers you’re especially excited about. Be sure to balance this tip with the reality that you may have little time and that many other students may be interested in the same employers. Assume that you will need to wait to speak with some employers.
  • Ask the representative for his/her card, and then send a thank-you note. Having the business card of the representative you have just spoken with serves three purposes. First, you have a direct contact with the organization, including the proper spelling of the representative’s name, direct telephone line, etc. Second, a brief thank-you note acknowledges the help they gave you and the time they took to visit campus. Third, sending thank-you notes is a good professional habit.  
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Comments
  1. ashleyprisfunrenfroe says:

    I unfortunately was unable to attend that career fair because of classes, but it sounded to me like you made the most of your attendance. I could see how at first you were bummed about there not being any PR firms there, but like you said sometimes you have to dig around a little bit. Your tips were also great and things that I will keep in mind not only for career fairs, but some tips I will use for interviews and things. For me pacing yourself was a great tip! Understanding your surroundings is definitely a must for things like this or else you just get caught up in the hype of the “best company” or miss out on other opportunities. Starting out with your least favorite choice is a good idea as well. It’s almost as if you can use them as a practice round for the big companies, however you would still like to impress everyone!

  2. […] February 4, 2010 at 7:58 PM (Blog Comments, PRCA 3711) Phillip Edwards […]

  3. allykup123 says:

    This was a really great post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading through it not only because of its great info but because you made it so interesting with all the cool graphics! I also really liked how you set it up as a list and explained each bullet in detail. It really forced me to read through it carefully and because of that I got a lot more information out of it then I normally would have if it would have been in a paragraph format. Overall, I could definitely tell that you spent a great deal of time on this post to make it the best that you could. Great job and keep up the good work!

  4. Eryn says:

    The great thing about PR is you really can work for most companies. Everyone needs PR and if they don’t have it, they should get it. I went to the Braves Sports Career Fair, the student and professional varied in what careers they were hoping for, but there was something for everyone. I have started to look for companies that I like and would want to be a part of. I feel like this gives me an advantage over some applicants because I am passionate about that company I apply for. Thanks for sharing, I wasn’t able to make it there that day.

  5. kbixby1 says:

    Hi Phillip,
    I read your blog about the Eagle Expo & Career Fair “It’s What You Make It”. I liked how you included a picture of the RAC! I noticed that you discussed how you were frustrated that Georgia Southern does not have many PR companies/firms at the career fair. I must say that it bothers me too. I feel like the PR Department gets left out of those big career events. However, I am glad to know that you had some luck and found some potential opportunities at the next level. I wish you the best of luck, and know you will do great! -Kristin

  6. […] 9. Phillip Edwards- Eagle Expo & Career Fair “It’s What You Make It” […]

  7. laurenashleylee says:

    What a great blog! You have some wonderful information to share with everyone. Your blogs are well-written as well as entertaining. The pictures you selected were perfect for each blog. Good job, Phillip!

  8. […] Comments on Other Students’ Posts Jump to Comments Phillip’s Blog Comment […]

  9. ashleigh martin says:

    I liked this post on how to get the most out of career fairs. It was different from all the other ones that spoke about the Eagle Expo. One thing that you said I feel is so important is that you dress the part at the career fair. This is the first time that your employer is going to see you, and we all know first impressions mean alot. I think it is important to dress to impress, arrive on time if not early, and always have extra copies of your resume at the ready. the recruiters want to see your resume so it is important that you bring it with you. Otherwise, why waste your time going to a career fair at all? Get serious about the career fair and you will gain alot!

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