The idea of walking into a room filled with not only employers you are trying to connect with, but also other students who are vying for the same jobs and internships as you can be stressful and daunting. At the upcoming Nichols College Career and Internship Fair you will have a great opportunity to test out these tips and network to the best of your ability.
One way to ease into the experience is to mingle. An easy start is to talk to employers who have no one at their tables; this may make you feel more comfortable since you would not be trying to speak with someone with five other people right behind you. Do not assume that you will not make an impression with an employer, just because a table that you want to check out is bombarded with students for the whole fair. If you come prepared, you will stand out from the other participants when you do get to speak with the employer.
Make your rounds, visit as many tables as you can, and do not be afraid to network. One simple conversation with a recruiter could help you stand out from the crowd. Remember that just because a company typically hires one type of major does not mean that they will not be interested in you too. Most companies today are seeking a more diverse group of workers, so a variety of knowledge is always helpful in achieving that goal.
Be sure to collect business cards, as well as handing out your own. Getting an employer’s or recruiter’s business card is an easy way to contact them in the future about an internship or other job opportunities. Having your own business cards displays a level of professionalism. An added bonus when asking for an employer’s business card is that they see that you are serious about making connections with their company and that you are taking the event seriously. When following up with an employer or recruiter, thank you notes are important. This will be discussed in greater detail in the next blog post of the series.
When you walk into a career event it is important to treat it as you would an interview, you never know who may be watching you. You want to be polite and prepared at all times. Also, be prepared to ask and answer questions. If you come prepared with questions for the employers you may stand out from other students who just stand around, rather than initiating fresh conversation with them.
Try to stand out. Many people have a tendency to follow their friends around rather than branch out on their own and speak with employers who they may be interested in working for. Be your own person, and make your own impression.