Many college students question why they should attend a career fair. They think they can find a job easily enough through an online search. While finding jobs through online sources is viable, there are certain advantages to attending a local career fair that you just cannot get with an online job search.
Here are six reasons you should attend a job fair:
- Get comfortable. The first time you walk up to a potential employer, you will feel a bit nervous. For some, it may be the hardest thing they have ever done. Getting comfortable with the job fair will allow you to work through the nervousness and move towards presenting a confident person. It will give you a chance to practice your elevator speech and follow-up skills. This is not something you can easily do with an online job search.
- Learning how to present your professional side. When you attend a job fair, you should wear professional clothing. You need to get comfortable with introducing yourself and distributing your resume. Each time you approach a recruiter, you get more comfortable presenting yourself in a professional manner. If you get an interview through an online job search, you need to be able to present yourself in a professional manner and a career fair is a great place to practice that.
- Open up job options. A college career fair offers you the chance to touch base with dozens of potential employers. You can learn what types of jobs they offer and if they have any internships available. You may also find some less than obvious job opportunities that would fit your education and goals. Meeting with recruiters offers you a chance to ask questions and expand your knowledge about a potential employer. Online job searches are limited to what the employer has open and what they've put in the listing.
- Networking opportunities. A professional network is critical for finding a good job. It also opens up other opportunities that may not be obvious immediately. Building your network offers you the chance to show someone that you are trustworthy and skilled. You might not find a job at your first career fair but you may end up with a contact who can help you find a job down the road. While you can build a network through online sources, meeting someone face to face builds trust and respect much faster.
- Landing a job or internship. This is the main reason why people should attend a college career fair. It offers you a chance to present yourself to potential employers. If you make a good impression, you may end up with an interview right on the spot. Even if they don't interview you immediately, they will take your resume and get back to you at a later time. The more contacts you make, the more opportunities you will have to land a job or internship. Online job searches can lead to jobs and internships, but why limit your opportunities?
- Brush up on your skills. Most job fairs at colleges offer more than just the opportunity to meet with recruiters. Many of them offer seminars and lectures on how to land a job. You can get help brushing up your resume. You can learn new interview skills, You can learn about the job search resources available on your college campus. Yes, in some cases you can get these same skills with online courses, but without the personal touch.
If you are questioning whether you should attend a college career fair, these five options should give you a reason to go. Whether you are looking for the job of your dreams or want to explore new options, the career fair is the place to get started. When will you attend your first fair?