Attending a Career Conference is one of the best ways to network with recruiters and increase your odds of landing an internship or full-time job. Often it can be overwhelming trying to figure out the right companies to talk to, or where to begin in your preparation. Below are some helpful tips for maximizing the conference and coming up with a game plan.
Figure Out Who is Attending
On Handshake you can see a list of all the employers who will be attending both the Virtual and In-Person Career Conference:
- Employer List for Fall 2022 Virtual Career Conference
- Employer List for Fall 2022 In-Person Career Conference
After finding out who is attending the fair, the next step is to filter what the companies are looking for. On the left-hand side you will see options for filtering. Here are some things to focus on: Internship vs. Job, School Years (who the companies are looking for), and Majors. Narrowing down the list based on these filters will help you find a more manageable list of companies to speak to. As a caveat, this is not to say that if there is a company that you think is interesting and does not fit your search criteria you should not seek them out – this is just an easy way to make a more manageable list.
Another important question to ask yourself is – does this company align with my interests? In Handshake you can read about the company’s history as well as see the types of positions they have hired in the past and actively recruiting for. Feel free to take this to Google as well as the company’s website to find more information about the company and get a feel for their company culture and initiatives.
Do a Little Digging
Taking this new filtered list, we suggest going into the career fair with a list of the companies you want to talk to. It is always better to have more companies on your list to be prepared. If you were to narrow your list down to about ten companies with the goal of speaking to around five or six, this is more doable. We suggest doing some light research on this narrowed-down list to give you some background before you speak with them. For example, knowing the types of positions the companies are recruiting for, or the typical school year that they are hiring for leads to a more productive conversation. Jotting down a few notes on each company and adding a question usually helps students feel more prepared and confident when entering the fair.
Once you have done your research, print it out or be able to refer to a note on your phone with the cheat sheet you have created. This way, before approaching a company you can quickly look at your list and your notes to refresh your memory. All that being said, it is okay to go off-plan and talk to companies outside your list, but when all else fails this preparation may leave you feeling better about attending the Career Conference.
Have a question or want to personalize your Career Conference plan? Schedule an appointment with Career Development using Handshake, and we can help tailor your plan for the Career Conference and help you get ready to network!