If you think career fairs are intimidating, you’re definitely not alone. In a recent survey of AfterCollege users, 26.1% said they’d never even attempted to go to one, and 38.5% said career fairs were too crowded and they couldn’t talk to the companies they were interested in.
We get it—you’re in a room full of people who have the power to make a decision that’ll influence the rest of your life (i.e. whether or not to hire you). No presh.
Seriously, though. You already know this is a high-stakes situation and it can feel like everything is out of your hands, but there are actually a few things YOU can do to improve your chances of making a connection and impressing your recruiter.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with a handful of recruiters from a range of industries including multinational corporations, non-profits, and federal agencies. They may recruit for very different types of jobs, but their descriptions of career fair experiences were all surprisingly similar. Here are a five little nuggets o’ wisdom I picked up from our discussion.
1. Your Appearance is a Reflection of Your Attitude
2. Listening is More Important Than Speaking
3. Try Not to Take Rejection Personally
4. You Have to Fight Your Own Battles
5. Recruiters Are People, Too