How to work a Career Fair

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By: Iris Cochran, Career Peer Advisor

&

Ashley Lollar, Graduate Assistant GC Career Center

One of the biggest networking opportunities are coming –up this week! Know how to get the most out of the GC Career Center’s annual Career Expo and Interview Day and snag a great job while you are there! Let’s prepare for a great experience, and go through a play-by-play to get that competitive edge to make the best first impression.

Be ready to mingle and introduce yourself to over 40 employers. The career fair will be from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. in Magnolia Ballroom in the Student Activities Center, which is March 5.Those of you who are there to get a job stick around for the pre-scheduled interview, which is 2:30- 4:30 p.m. in Magnolia Ballroom.

Some of the companies include:

Baldwin County Department of Family and Children Services

Department of Juvenile Justice

Dress Up Boutique

Falling Creek Camp

First Investors Corporation

GC College of Business Graduate Programs

GEICO

Jay’s HOPE Foundation

Merritt Massey & Karen Rowell State Farm Insurance Offices

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Nolan Transportation Group

Northwestern Mutual

To view all the employers attending the Career Expo be sure to visit Career Connection

https://www.myinterfase.com/gcsu/Account/LogOn?ReturnUrl=%2fgcsu%2fstudent

As there are more employers who will be attending the Career Expo, it is pertinent that you do a little research on potential employers before the career fair so that you are prepared to ask them questions that go deeper than, “What do y’all do?” Being prepared will make you stand out from others who did not do any research prior to the event, it will also so the employers that you are dedicated to taking the extra steps needed to succeed. While talking to employers you should also have an “elevator pitch” prepared to answer the tell me about yourself question. This is another important aspect when networking with employers, because in that brief pitch you can tell them what makes you stand apart from other people who are applying for the position.

Next, you must ensure that you dress professionally for the day of the Career Expo. Not sure what to wear? Check out the suggestions that that Career Center has to offer in the “Dress for Success” handout.  http://bit.ly/NbYJDK . One classic way to dress sharp is to wear neutral colors, like black slacks and a black blazer with a natural top. TIP: It is always better to be overdressed, than underdressed.

Next, make sure to bring at least 30 copies of your résumé, so that you can give them to employers while talking to them about their company. **( If you need your résumé to be looked over, the Career Center, located in 110 Lanier Hall, suggests you drop in anytime from 1-3 p.m. or come by the for Résumé Review Day, which is March 3, 2014 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)** Remember that this is a unique opportunity where employers are coming to you, so take advantage of the wealth of opportunities that the Career Expo has to offer. Also, be sure to look at companies that you have never heard of, just because you have not heard about their organization does not mean that they are not a good company.

One final note: If you are interested in interviewing with one of the employers who are holding interviews, be sure to sign-up on Career Connection. In preparation for the interview, you need to do your research on the organization, their competitors, and have a list of questions for the interviewer about the job/ organization.

If you are still nervous about showing up, the Career Center suggests to look over “Making the Most of a Career Fair” handout. http://bit.ly/1fempD

Just remember: You may be nervous about networking with these companies, but they were all once in your shoes.

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