Further Insights into the Reverse Career Fair

Written by Andrew Morin

After attending the CSER Office’s Reverse Career Fair and following my own advice from my previous post Reverse Career Fair Preparation, there are a few tips I realize I can expand upon, as well as share additional things I learned along the way.  This post is to serve as deeper insight into the fair.

Before getting into the meaty points, the most important tip must be given: arrive EARLY.  There is a quick, intense atmosphere at the Reverse Career Fair, so you’ll want to get there early to avoid as much confusion as possible, and acclimate yourself.

And once you’re in the fair…

Poster Boards

  • You notice them when you first walk in.  Make them clear, but a little flash doesn’t hurt.  With many poster boards towering employers, make yours speak differently.  Better yet, present a picture slideshow on a laptop alongside an informational (not too dense!) poster board.  Some employers are shy, but most don’t want to waste time.  A poster board is the most efficient way to pull people in.

Standing at your Table

  • Amongst the poster boards, you’ll want to be visible.  That, and you’re much more approachable, standing at your table with a smile.  There’s an essence of confidence in this standing position, as well as attentiveness.  Plus, all the employers are walking around and standing, so show them you are their equal.  Sitting down may make you appear lazy, and can trick your mind into wandering when you want to be focused.

Eager Beavers

  • Being eager will get you far.  If you are there, want to be there.  Stay alert and vigilant, making eye contact, smiling, and politely saying, “Hello.”  If you seem distant, employers will notice and also be distant.  This point cannot be emphasized enough.  The more eager you are to work for these people, the more likely you will get a chance with one of their companies.  Get comfortable talking to people about yourself: your strengths, goals, things you’ve made, things you’ve done, etc.  And don’t forget enthusiasm, for yourself and for the employers.

Swag

  • Realistically, everyone loves to walkaway with swag.  From the employers perspective: it’s gratifying and makes you that much more memorable.  It can get to a point of being showy, but walking that fine line is what will make you standout from everyone else.  Whether its stickers you designed, business cards, candy with your logo on it, or just regular candy, having something to walkaway with leaves an impression that stays with employers beyond the face-time you already had.

Pro Tip: Employers most likely already know who you are, so keep your head up if employers seem to walk by you.  Before the fair, you will need to send a short bio to the CSER Office, and this will be seen by the employers.  You will want to make your bio attractive to the employers you would like to work for the most, so that way when they see the list and are deciding who they are going to see, you are one of those people.


Keeping all these things in mind will almost guarantee a successful Reverse Career Fair.

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Reverse Career Fair Preparation

Written by Andrew Morin

This post is going to go over how you should prepare for the Career Services and Employer Relations Office’s bi-annual Reverse Career Fair.  What’s a reverse career fair?  Why, what a phenomenal question, old sport.  A reverse career fair is, as you may have guessed at this point, the opposite of a traditional career fair.  At this funky, futuristic, space-age, hip reverse career fair, YOU will sit behind the table and employers will come to YOU.  (The caps-lock on the you should not intimidate you, but instead express how much better it is; the pressure is on them).


Some things to get in order before the fair:

  • Your Experience

    • Examples
      • Get your best work together, academic and personal, to showcase to employers and build a relevant network for yourself.  This is one of your best opportunities to shine.
    • Resume
      • Have your resume polished to impress employers.
    • Get comfortable talking about yourself and your skills
      • Practice makes everything easier.  Get thinking about your transferable skills.  Taking part in this fair shows that you are a leader, by nature of the fair.  Show off these leadership skills and qualities, as well as your professional skills.
  • Stop by the CSER Office

    • Room 412 in the McCarthy Center.  A Career Counselor would love to look at what you are going to present to employers at the Reverse Career Fair.  They will give guidance and insight to further refine your presentation and presenting ability, as well as endlessly help with your resume.
  • Register

    • Click Here to Register
    • Registration is required but easy.  Register by yourself, or as a team or club at the link above.  There’s two different time slots: 12:00pm to 1:30pm, and 1:30pm to 3:00pm; pick whichever fits with your schedule best.

Once you have those essentials squared away, here’s some additional tips:

  • Dress the Part

    • Dress professionally so employers see you as a professional at first glance. Don’t overlook the power of appearance!  Even business casual versus sloppy casual makes a huge difference and may just give you an advantage over others.
  • Get Creative

    • Make a unique poster or an eye-catching slide show.  (Pro tip: the CSER office might give you a poster board if you ask nicely.)  Draw employers to your table. This is a way to standout from everyone else and show what you’ve got.showmewhatyougot                                          (http://i.imgur.com/dmNiHMQ.png)
  • Don’t Forget to Smile

    • REALLY DON’T!  This is all about networking, so smile, smile, smile; you never know who will be around.  Always stay positive.  It helps increase your confidence (even if you don’t feel it).

Save the date: Friday, April 7, 2017 in the McCarthy Center Forum

Employers range from ad agencies and marketing firms to management, I.T. and sales. There is something to accommodate everyone, so sign up and make some connections. Well, what if none of the employers are relevant to me?  Sign up anyway for the practice, plus the chance to meet someone who knows someone.

If you keep all this in mind, you should leave the bi-annual Reverse Career Fair with some great experience and maybe even some new contacts and opportunities.