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Don’t wait to look for a job until you need a job

Daniels Career Services helps students explore career options, prepare for interviews, advance their own professional development and build successful business networks. Associate Director and Career Coach Catherine Kelley explains why you should attend a career fair, even if you are not actively seeking employment:

  1. Practice presenting your professional side

Aside from the obvious of dressing in professional business attire for both virtual and in-person career fairs, it’s important to think about how you will show up beyond your physical appearance. Have you practiced your elevator pitch? Are you an expert at establishing a strong professional presence through a virtual medium? Do you know how you will respond when a recruiter asks you, “What are you looking for in a company?” All these elements are important to practice prior to an interview. A career fair provides the unique opportunity to build your confidence and practice presenting your professional side.

  1. Stand out from online applicants

Living in a digital age has made applying for jobs easier than ever, which means getting noticed above all the other applicants is becoming increasingly difficult. Often, companies receive more applicants than they know how to sort through, meaning your resume could easily be overlooked. This is especially true during our current climate, as companies are receiving an increasing number of applicants. Attending a career fair and providing a company representative with your resume is one way to get noticed above other candidates whose resumes are still swimming in the overflowing pool of online applications. Want to stand out even more? Ask the company representatives you meet for their contact information. This will give you the opportunity to follow up directly, reminding them of your interaction at the career fair.

  1. Learn about careers and companies you’ve never heard of

It’s important to keep an open mind when attending any career fair. While you want to do research on companies you intend to connect with, don’t shy away from connecting with the companies you’ve never heard of. Keeping an open mind will ensure you are opening yourself up to all opportunities. You may learn about a new company offering internships and full-time roles in your field, or even a whole new industry and career field that sparks your interest. With a wide variety of industry experts in attendance, career fairs are the ultimate fact-finding tool—don’t be afraid to use it to your advantage!

  1. Land a job before you graduate

Are you graduating soon and still find yourself asking the question, “What’s next?” Are you hoping to secure a job sooner rather than later? A career fair is the answer! Whether you are eager to find your first role out of undergrad, seeking a summer internship, or making the first big jump after your graduate program, many of the organizations attending career fairs are eager to meet students who can fill their immediate and long-term hiring needs. Get a head start on the job search and don’t wait until it’s too late!

  1. Invest in yourself

You’ll never regret investing in your personal and professional development. While it may seem like a small step, attending career fairs demonstrate commitment and investment in yourself and your career. From practicing networking to enhancing your industry knowledge, career fairs allow you to invest in developing essential business skills.

So, what are you waiting for? Invest in yourself and sign up for our upcoming career fairs:

    • Daniels Virtual Career Fair – Friday, Oct. 2, 2020
    • Government and Nonprofit Virtual Career Fair – Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020
    • Media, Design and Communications Virtual Career Fair – Wednesday, Nov. 11., 2020

Do you want additional guidance on how to best prepare for a virtual career fair? Watch this recording (password is 4BE@4WYr) of the Student Workshop Prep for the Daniels Virtual Career Fair. You can also schedule a one-on-one virtual advising appointment with a Graduate or Undergraduate Career Coach through Pioneer Careers Online.