It is a truth universally acknowledged that an unemployed college student in possession of a good resume must be in want of a job.
Whether you’re looking for a summer internship, a part-time job for the semester, or a full-time position for after graduation, attending a career fair on your college campus is a great place to start. Companies love career fairs, too: it gives us the chance to meet a lot of potential candidates at once and, if you’re in my position, try to inspire the next generation of solar energy champions. But, when you’re just one job seeker amidst a crowd of many, it can be hard to stand out. Here are five tips to help you make a great first impression:
- Do Your Research. Find out which companies and organizations will be represented at the fair. Make a list of your favorites and research them online before you go. Learn about their mission, their company culture, and any recent buzz their company has generated in the news. The company reps will be beyond impressed when you show up prepared with specific questions about their organization.
- Prepare Your 30 Second Elevator Pitch. As a recruiter, my job is to match people’s skills and experience to opportunities. It’s incredibly helpful at a career fair when a candidate can articulate who they are, what skills they bring, and what they are looking for. Make sure you keep this short, sweet, and to the point!
- Look The Part. When you go to a career fair, you are essentially marketing yourself to employers as a brand. So, it’s important that your image reflects the kind of job you want and the kind of company you want to work for. It’s not necessary to spend a fortune on fancy clothes; rather, wear clothes that fit, make sure your hair is neat and out of the way, have confidence, and come prepared with your resume.
- Don’t Be A Sheep, Be An Individual. Having represented Sungevity at numerous career fairs, I always see groups of friends visiting companies together. While I understand the feeling of safety in numbers, meeting companies as a group is a surefire way to be forgotten. Strike out on your own and be an individual. You’ll have a better opportunity to connect one-on-one with an employer.
- Come Shine at Sungevity! I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t throw in a plug: we’re always looking for positive and energetic people to work at Sungevity! At career fairs, you can find us by following the trail of smiling faces with orange sunglasses. We have a ton of opportunities throughout the United States. Check out our website for a list of the roles we are recruiting for today: www.sungevity.com/careers
JP Villafuerte is a Senior Recruitment Manager for Sungevity.