Career fair advice from employers
The CSE Career Center surveyed its employer partners to learn what advice they have for students planning to attend the career fair.
How can a student impress an employer at the career fair?
- "Give us a confident elevator pitch that highlights the most remarkable thing you have done to demonstrate you are passionate about technology." (University recruiter, Microsoft)
- "Don’t be scared to make eye contact, approach us, and ask questions. We are happy to meet with you—that is why we are here." (Engineer recruiter, Experis Engineering)
- "Make sure you are professionally dressed. Also, I am always impressed when a student has done their research and knows what my company does, versus asking me what we do." (R&D technical recruiting manager, Starkey Hearing Technologies)
- "Demonstrate that you've looked at our organization and know something about it." (Recruitment manager, AmeriCorps)
What is your most important tip for students?
- "Practice talking about yourself and something you are proud of that's relevant to the job/internship you want. If you don't have anything you are proud of that is relevant to the job, grab some classmates and start a side project." (University recruiter, Microsoft)
- "We are all human. Don’t become too stressed during the interview—just be yourself." (Engineer recruiter, Experis Engineering)
- "Start your career search earlier rather than later. If you can get an internship or co-op during your time in college, that alone may put you ahead of others when it comes to finding positions after graduation." (Account manager, Aerotek Engineering)
- "Research, research, research. You are the master of your own fate. What do you want to do? What are you qualified to do? What is your dream job?" (R&D technical recruiting manager, Starkey Hearing Technologies)
- "Be very honest about your interests and experience within the classroom and during previous internships." (Recruiter, Ulteig)
- "Don't let your nerves get in the way of job opportunities. Recruiters want to talk to you! Tell us about your abilities, interests, and why you want to work at our company. The biggest career fair related mistake you can make is choosing not to attend the event." (Recruiting specialist, Datacard Group)
- "Research the companies to understand what career opportunities are available. When you approach an employer, don't let the first question be, 'Do you have any job openings?'" (Senior HR specialist, Wipfli LLP)
- "Know what gives you energy and what makes you unique. Knowing more about who you are and what you want to do will help employers find the best fit for both parties. Recruiters want to help you, so don't be afraid to be honest!" (Associate campus recruiter, Target Corporation)
What is the biggest mistake a student can make at a career fair?
- "Don't be too rigid/narrow in what you are looking for—keep an open mind and be flexible. You will receive way more opportunities if you think this way." (Recruiter, Braun Intertec)
- "One of the biggest mistakes a student can make at a career fair is wandering around not knowing what companies you want to consider for employment." (IT recruiter, C.H. Robinson)
- "The biggest mistake is handing over your resume to the representative and simply saying, 'Do you have a job for me?' Make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to understand your background and how you may be a fit. Communicate professionally and do your best to maintain eye contact. We want to help you succeed, so enjoy your interactions and allow your personality to shine through." (R&D technical recruiting manager, Starkey Hearing Technologies)
- "Don't just say, 'I'm open to anything.'" (Recruitment manager, AmeriCorps)
- "The biggest mistake people make early in the job search is to make comparisons to other people. Each person is different with different skills, even right out of school. Make a point to showcase your 'soft skills' as much as your 'technical skills' when meeting with people, and never take feedback or rejection personally." (University recruiter, Microsoft)