If you are a Masters student studying abroad or if you are a to-be Masters Student yet to fly abroad, this post is of high importance to you. Unlike in India, there will not be any campus placements i.e. companies visiting colleges for hiring abroad. Usually all the companies in and around come together and organize a job fair where they post their requirements. You can meet the company representatives physically, understand their requirements and submit your resume in person or online.
There are several professional organizations that organize these job fairs. Some universities too, conduct these job fairs throughout the year. While they offer a number of opportunities to students, at times they can also be overwhelming. With so many companies in one place at one time, it might be hard to know where to start. This process can also seem intimidating to approach the representatives of each company.
Do not worry. Here are a few tips to guide you to help you make the most of a job / career fair.
Do your homework
It is a career fair and yes, you will see a number of companies and their booths at there. So, do your homework beforehand and check out the list of companies coming. Make a list of the companies that are your top choices. This way you can make sure of going to those booths. Also, be prepared for the meetings. You should sound confident and show them that you are genuinely interested and not just speaking to them because they happen to be at the fair.
Take multiple copies of your resume
Do not attend these fairs unprepared and empty handed. Consider it as a chance of meeting your prospective employer beforehand in person. So, it is highly advised that you take with you more copies than you think you will need.
When going to a job fair, it is better to keep an open and flexible mind. Though you might have made plans of how you will go about the job fair meeting and talking to those company representatives, things may not go as you planned for, maybe owing to lack of time, etc. Also, chances are that you might find out about a company or position that you had never considered before.
This is the pro-tip – when going to a career fair, go alone. While it can take a bit more effort to approach strangers when you are on your own, it really pays off to do so at a career / job fair. It is primarily because; you will be remembered better as an individual than in a group. You can better focus on companies you are actually interested in instead of compromising to make others happy. Remember, it is your life and you should be in control of it.
I have spoken about the importance of following up after you meet a potential connection or a client time and again. Yes, it is essential and is important. Take the business cards and emails of your contacts and follow up with them shortly after the fair. You can thank the representatives for telling you more about the companies. It is an opportunity to reinforce your zeal to let them know you are interested in a future in their company.
Now that you are primed with the career fair know how, plan ahead, go out there and take advantage, be courageous and come home with flying colours.