Fall is in the air, crisp leaves falling on the Concourse, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice lattes in hands, football fans painting up for the Jumbotron, and ... CAREER FAIRS?! It may be a season where your mind is far from your future job and college seems all too cozy, however NOW is the prime time to be scouting out interests and employers.
Yesterday at the Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Center I experienced the splendid mayhem of my first job fair. I was a little out of my league as a Liberal Arts major at an Engineering and Technical fair, but I learned some interesting things from both employers and students:
A. Know what you want out of a job. Employers appreciate your flexibility, but they are much more impressed by an individual with clear goals.
B. Come prepared with resumes and an idea of the hiring qualifications for each company. It would not hurt to make a bullet point study guide of:
- Company Name
- Main Products or Services
- Job Openings
- What you can contribute
"Proper preparation prevents poor performance." - Dr. Ainsley Carry
C. All majors can benefit from any Career Fair. Let me explain: Engineering firms need PR and HR people to communicate and present their product. Many companies need Customer Service representatives, educators for growing branches, people to build their facilities, researchers for sustainable business practices, accountants, musicians for benefit dinners, volunteer coordinators for a "Going Green" campaign, etc. Let your mind branch out to the needs of a company as a whole and do not become restricted by their Job Opening.
A first Career Expo can be intimidating if you are not prepared and don't know what you can offer to companies. Give your confidence a healthy challenge and attend - if only to glean information from company recruiters about how you can prepare for a future career. Don't burn any bridges, be your polished self, and BE HONEST with employers about your abilities and desires out of a job.
Best of luck! I'm attending again this Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. at the AU Hotel (more info). Join me!
Margaret E. Kloess '10