Top 7 things you need to know for the Job Fair
1. Dress business professional/business casual
For men, business professional is a suit and tie. Business casual would be a polo or button down shirt and nice dress pants. For women, business professional is a pantsuit with a jacket or a skirted suit with a jacket. Business casual would be a blouse and a button down or dress pants and a button down shirt.
Career Center Ball State University Lucina Hall 220 Muncie, IN 47306
Phone: 765-285-1522 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
James Mitchell, Associate Director for Employer Relations at the Ball State Career Center, says you should look put together in whatever you wear. “We realize that students are coming to and from class, but it still doesn’t hurt for you to make a good first impression.”
2. Do your research on employers you plan to visit
The Career Center has an app on the and the where you can see information on all 198 of the attending employers. You can use the app to check what positions they are hiring for, what city or state the job will be in, and it links out to their social media and websites. Mitchell says you aren’t expected to know everything but if you want to make a good first impression, you should do basic research on the company you plan to talk to. The app also gives you a map of the career fair so you can find employers with ease. Make sure you talk to the most important ones first as you only have a limited amount of time.
3. Prepare your elevator pitch
“Silence isn’t golden,” Mitchell said. Going up to a table, you should know who you are and what you are looking for in a job. Students will be given a name tag and ribbon that represents what area of study you are in and what type of job you are looking for. However, you shouldn’t rely on those passive things. “Remember, these people are used to making these kinds of conversations, that’s why they are at the career fair. Get the ball rolling and then let them ask some questions,” Mitchell said. When answering questions from the employers, students should respond with skills that are highlighted on their resume.
4. Bring copies of your resume
This one is pretty self explanatory. Bring multiple copies of your resume to hand out to potential employers. Make sure your application doesn’t fall into a black hole and ask for a business card. Then follow up with the person you met telling them you applied and it was good to meet them, thanking them for coming to Ball State.
5. Bring a pen and a folder
You will be handed materials from the companies you talk to so bring a folder. Be selective in the things you take. “You don’t want to carry a big bulky bag around,” Mitchell said. A folder allows you to tuck some brochures, paperwork and business cards into. Only having a folder frees you up to shake hands. Bring a pen to take physical notes. Bring your smartphone to take electronic notes. The Career Center app allows you to take notes on each employer in the app that only you can see. These are useful for both pre-meeting notes and post-meeting notes.
6. Attend the prep sessions for the fair
The Career Center offers two prep sessions for the job fair. The is an hour before the fair Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. There, they will go over the things in this list along with more detailed information. At the second one, there will be opportunities to practice asking questions, shaking hands and elevator pitches.
7. Go to the fair!
There are plenty of opportunities at the fair. Being open to new experiences can lead to some interesting jobs. Using the Career Center’s app, you can filter employers by what positions they are hiring for. You may find a company that doesn’t primarily operate in your field but is hiring for a position that is in your field of study. There are opportunities for all grade levels as well. There are internship opportunities for underclassmen and job opportunities for juniors, seniors and grad students.
If you have further questions, you can contact the career center.