Somewhat surprisingly, many students don't see the value in attending college career fairs. They would rather look for job opportunities online. While online job searches can be quite productive, they don't offer the same benefits to the student that attending a career fair would. Those benefits are extremely valuable for finding a job in your desired industry.
The Primary Benefits of a College Career Fair
Let's look at five of the primary benefits you get when you attend a college career fair.
1. Networking with Potential Employers
Did you know that over 80% of all job offers come through networking? A career fair is the perfect place to network with people in your desired industry. Career fairs give you a chance to speak one-on-one with multiple company representatives all in the same place.
Plus, even if you don't land an interview with a particular company, you still have a chance to make a good impression and that is an invaluable opportunity. If they liked you, your chances of ending up on a list for future hires increases dramatically.
2. Access to Free Workshops and Seminars
Most career fairs offer free workshops and tutorials for student attendees. The workshops give students the chance to polish their resume or practice their interview skills. For students first entering the professional workforce, these workshop opportunities are hard to put a price on.
Career fair seminars offer a multitude of information. Sometimes the seminars focus on job interview skills. Other seminar topics focus on industry trends and opportunities. Attending at least one of these seminars can focus a student's job search efforts or give them the chance to explore alternate employment avenues.
3. Get Your Resume Reviewed
When you are applying for any job, your resume is your calling card. A poorly written resume can be the reason why you never get an interview. A resume with spelling errors can give a poor first impression. An unfocused resume will only confuse a potential employers. Keep in mind resumes can be tricky and we've listed just a few problems you can encounter.
Many college career fairs offer students the chance to have a professional look over their resumes. The professional will review it and offer suggestions on how to improve it. The advice given can be invaluable in the job search.
4. Interview Practice
Most people are not going to find a job by attending one career fair. But each time they attend such an event, they get the chance to practice their interviewing skills. For example, approaching a potential employer can be a bit intimidating the first time. However, many find that after doing it a dozen times during a single career fair, that discomfort will start to fade.
Some of the skills you get to practice includes introducing yourself (oddly not always easy), giving a firm handshake (just trust us on this), marketing your skills, answering basic interview questions, and asking questions of the company. Each of these skills are critical for finding a job.
5. Learn About Job Opportunities in Your Industry
Most industries have multiple entry level opportunities. For example, the IT industry's entry level opportunities include programmers, help desk support, and network technicians. College career fairs offer students a chance to explore these entry level options and to talk with employers about what makes an ideal employee for those positions.
A career fair can also introduce students to alternative career paths they might not have thought about previously. Speaking with industry leaders one-on-one can give students ideas on valuable minors and optional classes to take while completing their degrees.
These are just some of the benefits that make attending a college career fair important. To truly understand why you need to attend we suggest you find a local career fair and dive right in.