Career Fair Tips
As Missouri S&T makes its way into the Spring Semester, one event is approaching that most people are not ready for. No, it is not St. Pat’s. There is still some time left to prepare for those ten days in March. The annual event drawing near is the Career Fair. The Spring Career Fair will be held on Tuesday, February 19th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM in the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building. 249 companies are currently registered to attend. Students who do not yet have an internship lined up for the summer and seniors who are graduating soon should be sure to come prepared. The Career Opportunities and Employer Relations (COER) office has many tips and resources that will help make sure hopeful students are ready to conquer this Career Fair.
The first step in preparing for the Career Fair is registration. Registration is required and can be done by logging in to the Handshake website and locating Upcoming Events. Once the Missouri S&T Spring Career Fair 2019 has been located, there is the option to register by clicking “Join Event” in the top right corner. After securing registration to the fair, the Handshake profile page should be updated. Similar to LinkedIn, a page with a profile picture will get more attention. Ensuring that all the information included on the personal profile page is accurate is also important. Current major and anticipated graduation date is something employers will want to know. This is also a good opportunity to start researching companies. Handshake allows students to filter the employers that are coming to the Career Fair by location, job type, major, employment type, and many other categories. It is useful to decide which specific companies to speak to before the day of the Career Fair. The atmosphere can be hectic and knowing beforehand which employers to meet with will lessen the hustle and bustle. Researching companies will help students come prepared. Many companies will ask questions to gauge potential hirees awareness about their career goals. Even just a little research into projects that the company has recently done can go a long way.
One of the most important steps in getting ready for the Career Fair is nailing down a resume. Making sure that job experience and involvement are updated and emphasized is important in presenting an accurate personal representation. COER’s website has everything from help with formatting, which sections of a resume to include, and they even have sample resumes to look at. The best way to know if a resume is Career Fair ready is to bring it to the COER office on the third floor of Norwood Hall. COER provides a reviewing service that will help make sure that resumes are up to date with current industry trends. One of the other benefits of bringing a resume to COER to review is the Skip the Line program. Skip the Line allows select students to pick up their credentials early and enter the Career Fair through a priority entrance. In order to participate in Skip the Line, a student must have had their resume reviewed by COER in the past year, added their resume and graduation date to Handshake, and attended any one of the many COER Professional Development presentations in the past year.
The Career Fair requires professional attire and those attending should look their best to make a good first impression on employers. Men should wear a long sleeve, button up shirt with a suit. It is important that the shirt is pressed and the tie reaches just far enough that the tip touches the belt. Wearing the right socks is equally important. Dark socks that go up to mid-calf are best, but they should match the suit. Women should make sure their hair is well kept and, in the case of long hair, pulled up. Either a pantsuit or a skirt suit is acceptable, but skirts should not be any shorter than knee length and pantyhose should be worn. It is recommended that simple, classic jewelry be worn if any. All students should wear sensible shoes as they will most likely be standing for hours at a time. Students that do not have their own attire can borrow from the campus suit closet. Approximately 500 students utilize this closet every year, so going earlier is better.
Once the research is done and the proper attire is on, it is time to head to the Career Fair. Students are encouraged to arrive as early as they can because there is often a line of students waiting outside. When speaking to employers, students should project enthusiasm, give a smile, offer a firm handshake, and make eye contact. This will help make a good first impression and allow the interaction to feel more comfortable. During introductions, explaining any past experience and why it would fit in the company will engage the recruiter immediately. To avoid an introduction fizzling out, having a question ready that the recruiter can answer will jump start the conversation. It is helpful to make note of the recruiter’s name to acquire a point of contact for later on in the job search process. For more helpful tips about the Career Fair, visit COER’s website at career.mst.edu.