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Attending a career fair can be a stressful experience, but here’s a guide containing everything you need to really excel!
Do your research
Handshake has a list comprised of all the companies that plan to attend career fair each of the three days. Take advantage of this! Identify which industries and what type of work excites you. Then make a list of all the companies that interested you.
✓ Make a list of companies that you want to talk to at career fair
✓ Rank those companies based on your level of interest
✓ Find the roles you want and apply for them in Handshake
✓ Research each company and role you applied for
- Specifically, you may want to know the industry the company is in, how they make money, the job description for the role, the job qualifications, and how this role contributes to the company making money
- Build relationships with employees at the company before career fair to confirm your research and better understand what they do and how they do it
- Identify which employees will be at career fair and build relationships with them
Pro tip: Get inside info on the roles you’ve applied for, this will help you in the interview process
Prepare your elevator pitch
Purpose: to convince the recruiter to actually read your resume
An elevator pitch is a quick summary of your background, experience, and goals. It should be interesting, memorable, and succinct, piquing the interest of the recruiter. Your elevator pitch will highlight that you already have what the company wants based on their role description.
Structure your resume – digitally and on Handshake
Purpose: to get you an interview
You want the recruiter to picture you having the skillset needed to excel in a full-time role at their company with your resume alone.
✓ Make sure your digital resume is one page and a pdf; and your Handshake profile is complete
✓ Include all experiences relevant to the roles you’ve applied for, be sure to show the value you’ve added in every experience, and quantify your impact
✓ Use the right language/key words/terminology from the role descriptions that you researched in order to beat algorithms
✓ Make sure at least 5 individuals have reviewed your resume and that 3 of them are professionals (ideally in your industry)
Pro tip: There’s a lot to unpack here – Have someone review your resume at SleepingGiant Office Hours where we have individuals who have secured offers in IB, consulting, pharma, tech, med school, education, etc!
Pre-prepare your questions
Purpose: to show that you’ve done your research and to differentiate yourself
This is your chance to ask specific questions that you can’t find the answers to on Google. Since your time is limited, it’s a must that these are thought through ahead of time. If you truly want to get a recruiter’s attention, show that you’ve done your research and you’ll be remembered.
Get your look prepared
First impressions are very important. Know who you’re talking to ahead of time and what their interview dress code is. When in doubt, play it safe and dress business professional.
Business professional examples:
✓ Men: Shirt, Tie, Suit Jacket
✓ Women: Blouse, Blazer
*dress pants optional since the fair is virtual
Create a game plan
After doing your research, you have to figure out which companies you plan on talking to and in what order. You should prioritize them by level of interest but it’s a good idea to begin career fair by talking to a few companies that you’re only somewhat interested in. This will serve as practice and give you a chance to calm your nerves before talking to your favorite companies.
✓ From your prioritized list of the 10-20 companies you’ve identified in your research, schedule your morning 1:1’s with the companies that you’re least interested in; schedule with your top companies for afterwards
✓ RSVP for any informational sessions that your top companies are providing
Pre-Write Your Cover Letter
There’s a quick turn-around for interviews, so you’ll want to pre-write cover letters for two reasons:
(1) You don’t want to waste time that you could spend prepping for interviews, writing cover letters
(2) You don’t feel rushed in creating a cover letter in order to beat an application deadline
✓ Create the base template for this, writing it so that you can switch the company name as needed
✓ Make sure at least 5 individuals have reviewed it and that 3 of them are professionals (ideally in your industry)
Pro tip: Have a different cover letter for each unique role or industry that you’re interested in
Pro tip: Have someone review it at SleepingGiant Office Hours!
Prepare for Interviews
These will happen shortly after career fair, so make sure to start preparing early!
✓ You will always have a behavioral interview – prepare for behavioral interviews by researching common questions, practicing your answers, and studying your resume
✓ Specialty interviews (casing, finance, coding, etc.) – prepare for these by researching common questions, practicing your answers, and joining an org or study group
Pro tip: Have someone help you prepare at SleepingGiant Office Hours – we have individuals who can help you with all of these types of interviews!
Alright! You now officially have SleepingGiant’s insider information to truly excel at Miami’s virtual career fair! Good luck!