In February of each year, the University of Minnesota hosts its largest job fair. With approximately 300 employers present, it is a sight to behold. Students and recent alumni from each U of M campus are welcome. As someone who was attending this event for the first time, I was sure to have a learning experience. Below you will find my two biggest takeaways from the day.
Manage Your Time
When the UMD bus arrived at the fair, we were given about 3.5 hours to meet with employers. I figured this was going to be plenty of time to meet with the 11 employers I planned to approach. By the end of the first hour and a half, I realized I was wrong. I had two hours to eat lunch and meet with the second half companies on my list. I was not lolly-gagging, so what was going on? Since the fair was so large, most companies had a line of people talking with them. Even if it was a small line, it took the length of a discussion with each person in front of me to arrive at the front of the line.
When I arrived to the front of the line, I took my time with each employer. Do not be in a hurry, as the recruiter will probably notice this demeanor and be unappreciative. Even on a time crunch, I dedicated myself to each and every conversation, not only telling the recruiters what I was interested in, but contributed to wherever the conversation took us. I left every single conversation feeling very confident because I legitimately had fun talking to people about future opportunities.
There are plenty of other good job fair tips out there. I wanted to focus more on the lessons I learned from my experience at the U of M Job & Internship Fair in February of 2015. If you are looking for advice for preparing for the job fair, making conversation at the job fair, what recruiters think about resumes at the job fair, or even what to wear at the job fair, check out the other job fair themed blog posts written by our peers by clicking here!