There are plenty of negatives about a career fair, if you don’t know how to stand out at one.
Long lines can test even the most patient person’s patience. Being evaluated based on your resume and credentials quickly leads to insecure thoughts. And the employer has all the power in these conversations.
You may question, “Should I go to career fair?”
Of course you should! Because, amidst the few negatives of a job fair, there’s one huge positive: You’re finally face to face with an employer. Hallelujah!
You no longer have to play the lottery game of an online job submission. You can stop being in the dark about if they received your application or are considering you.
You get to speak to them and go over your resume. If you’re good enough, you can be asked for an interview on the spot. That doesn’t happen from an online job board submission.
To get the most out of career fair, follow the steps below. When you prepare like this, you’ll stand out at career fair more than any other candidate.
Buy A Tailored Suit
Companies can have upwards of hundreds or thousands of applicants to choose from. That means competition is tough. It also means that the little details—like how you dress—can make the difference between job search success and failure.
I understand that you may not have needed a professional suit until now, but that’s not an excuse to show up to career fair in business casual or plain casual. You need to look sharp. Because when you dress nice, you feel good, and perform at your best.
Spend the $100 to $300 for a nice black or navy blue tailored suit. The reason you want it tailored to your body is baggy dress pants (that could pass as sweat pants from afar) don’t support the idea that you’re a professional, successful student. And too tight of pants looks like you’re posing as a rock star, not a job candidate. Same goes for your suit jacket, it needs to fit your unique build.
A suit isn’t a costly investment if you consider how much use you’ll get out of it when you’re working in the real world. You can wear this suit during your day job, at weddings, and other formal events. Realizing this makes the high sticker price easier to swallow if your parents won’t pay for it.
Research The Visiting Companies
That suit you just bought may be a waste of money if you don’t do some basic research before the big day. Research is key to standing out at a career fair.
If you don’t know what the company does, how are you going to have an intelligent conversation with a recruiter? If you’re not willing to research the companies coming to career fair, expect to have some awkward conversations. Awkward conversations don’t lead to interviews and job offers, clearly.
To impress, look online for the list of companies attending career fair. Narrow down your top 5 to 10 choices. And then start Google searching what the company does, its mission statement, and the responsibilities of the job you want.
All the information you gather will be useful in helping you decide what job is best for you and navigating conversations with recruiters.
Plus, the more you research do before career fair means less you need to do for your job interviews.
Attend Information Nights
It’s a big advantage for the students who put in the extra 30 to 60 minutes attending a company’s information night. If you’re not familiar, an info night looks like this.
If the official career fair day for your university is on Wednesday, many companies will have an information night on Monday or Tuesday where they rent out a classroom. There, they’ll share more about the company, the open positions, the job responsibilities of each, and what they look for in applicants.
That information is helpful in its own right. And here’s the secret to going to these info nights, you get to make conversation with recruiters and hiring managers at the end. When you show a genuine intrigue in their company, they’ll remember you.
Then guess what applicants are the frontrunners for securing interviews and make the best impression at career fair? You guessed it, the ones who you already built rapport at the info night.
I received emails about most employer info nights, so stay up to date on your email inbox. If I were you, I’d also check your career services website or visit them in person to get the scoop on what companies are putting these info nights on.
Craft The Golden Resume
Though the most important aspect to winning job offers is how you interview, to get interviews your resume needs to be persuasive. That’s why bringing a top-notch resume to career fair is a must.
For whatever reasons, students will throw all of their experiences on a paper and call it a resume. They don’t have any strategy behind it. And then they blast it out to as many companies as possible. These same students struggle to an interview, yet alone a job offer.
You can do that with your resume, too. Or you can make your life easier by ordering my bestselling book The Golden Resume. My book will show you how to follow the exact resume and interview strategies to land any job offer your heart desires.
This book is so great because it takes you through the psychology behind the job search, then gives you tangible action steps to be the best applicant possible.
Bring A Portfolio
Hey students without a portfolio, I have two questions. How are you going to carry the resumes you bring to career fair? And how are you going to collect important business cards and papers you collect without a portfolio?
Please don’t say in your hand. You’ll look like a disheveled mess with your hands full when you speak with companies. Even if you’re not flustered, you’ll give the appearance that you are if you’re carrying a bunch of resumes, business cards, and random papers in your hand. Trust me, it’s a bad look.
You can get a portfolio from Amazon or your campus bookstore for $15 to $30. Once you purchase this, it’s another thing you don’t need to worry about during the big day.
Pre-career fair preparation is complete and now it’s time to execute like a boss.
Show Up Right When It Starts
This is actually a huge detail, so please pay attention. You must show up right when career fair begins. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Why? Because students who show up near the end risk everything.
Being late could mean all the company’s interview slots are full. It could mean the employers are tired after a long day of speaking to hundreds of students, so they don’t give you their full attention. Or you run out of time to meet with your favorite companies.
All of these issues are avoided when you show up from the beginning. Showing up at the start also gives you ample time to practice introducing yourself to companies before you visit your favorite ones.
If you have a class during career fair, ask a week in advance to miss it for career fair. Your professors should be cool with it. If they aren’t ok with it, I’d probably skip class to show up for the beginning. Time management is a must here.
Introduce Yourself With Confidence
“Hey, uhh, I’m a junior English major. Oh yeah, sorry. My name is Brian Robben. Um, what do you guys do,” is the worst introduction you can make. Are you kidding me? But I’ve heard students do it.
Although the introduction isn’t a big deal on its own, it is if you flunk it. You need to bring your A-game to this career fair and how you introduce yourself sets the tone. Since first impressions matter when you introduce yourself to a cute guy or girl, they also matter here.
Just keep it simple by saying your name, grade level, major, and an insightful comment about the company you’re talking to. An insightful comment could look like this:
- I was so excited when I saw you guys were coming to this career fair.
- Congratulations on winning the “insert award name.” (based on your research)
- One of my favorite things about your company is “insert favorite thing.” (based on your research)
Your comment makes it clear that you’re prepared and it makes a smooth transition for the employee to talk about.
Practice is the best medicine for nervousness. So practice everything leading up to career fair, including your introductions, until you get it down.
And if you’re still not confident when you arrive at career fair, just act like it. Companies won’t know the difference. Research shows acting confident can immediately translate to real results in social settings. That whole “fake it ‘til you make it” talk is right on the money.
Practice On Unimportant Companies First
I get that you’ve targeted the companies you want to visit based on your research. But don’t blast through the career fair doors and make a beeline to your top companies right off the bat.
What if you let your nerves get the best of you and shoot yourself in the foot at the company you want to work for most? You only have one shot at each company.
So it only makes sense to protect yourself from that mistake by visiting the less important companies first to introduce yourself. By unimportant, I mean companies that are not in the field you want to work in or organizations you would never want to work for.
After you visit a few companies, you’ll be way more comfortable than when you started out.
You’ll also pick up key insights during these practice rounds, like what past experiences are most interesting to them, what to say and not say, and how to inquire about future steps in their hiring process.
With a few practice conversations with recruiters under your belt, it’s time to make your best impression at your top companies.
Visit Your Favorite Companies
Everything else has led up to this moment. It’s time to shine! Visit your favorite companies with a big smile and confidence.
If there’s a long line before you can get in front of their table, don’t let that get to your head. Have faith that you want it more than other people and you’re going to prepare for the interview harder than them. The line could be 100 or 1,000 people, and you’re still going to come out on top. This mentality will help you put your best foot forward with the recruiter and stay focused.
I also find it helpful to be authentic to recruiters by saying that their company is one of your top choices. It makes the recruiter feel special, while also sending the message that you’re extremely interested in the position.
And companies hate spending time interviewing applicants only to find out they aren’t that interested in the job or the company. You immediately alleviate that thought in their head by expressing your intentions. That understanding helps secure interviews.
Collect Contact Info
You could trust that recruiters are going to take your resume and reach out to you about the next steps. Or you could, and should, get their contact information.
Before you leave their table, ask the person you’re speaking with for a business card. Or if they don’t have one, ask for their contact information so you can write it in your portfolio before you visit the next booth.
You’ll need it for the next step—sending follow up emails. And it’s nice to have even if you don’t get the job, so you can reach out next semester about another opportunity.
Send Follow Up Emails
There’s a reason you write down names of recruiters above, and it’s for this step. Send a friendly follow up email to thank them for their time and express your interest in the job.
Just because they said they’ll get back to you with the next steps doesn’t mean you can’t show your interest in the position. Just don’t go too far and bug them with more than one call or email.
You don’t need to do this and most candidates don’t follow up. That’s exactly why this email will help you stand out with employers.
(Bonus) Ace Interviews
(Yes, I know you can’t ace interviews at career fair. But, I didn’t want to help you get job interviews and leave you hanging unprepared for them. So here’s a bonus tip.)
You didn’t do all this career fair work to get a bunch of interviews and not come away with great job offers. That would be nothing but a disappointment and waste of time. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
You went to career fair to be the master of your destiny and find your dream internship or job. By now you’ve set up a bunch of interviews.
So are you ready to take the final step to ace these interviews?
The job search can be a gauntlet, though that’s what makes getting job offers so rewarding. Nothing came easy and you had to go get it, and you did.
Sure, it would be nicer if you could set up a desk at your place and have all the employers line up to speak with you. But that’s not how the system works.
So look at the positive that you have all of these employers looking for a great candidate, like yourself, and make the most of career fair. Use this event to learn more about companies. Get answers about what they’re looking for in a candidate and the next steps. And then win that job offer.
A career fair is far better than the alternative of an ambiguous online job search.
Image credits: Anita Borg Institute
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10 Careers For People Who Love Helping Others
Know you’re someone who loves serving others and is naturally inclined to that kind of work? A career that allows you to live your passion is just what you need.
For a lot of people starting off in the working world or looking for a new career, financial rewards are not the number one thing they are looking for.
Instead, they want a job that provides a sense of personal satisfaction through the feeling of helping others. These jobs are out there.
You have a whole host of jobs that put you in direct contact with those in need, whether this is through healthcare, education, charity or another option.
And then there are the jobs that provide a broader contribution to society including science and engineering.
So, let’s go through a list of 10 potential options if you are looking for a job that prioritizes helping others.
1) Teaching and Education
Education is a broad field that gives you the opportunity to impart your skills and knowledge onto others, whether these are children or adults.
Beyond the traditional primary and secondary school paths, there are also opportunities to teach at further education colleges or else children with special needs.
To qualify as a teacher, you will need a degree and a further year of hands-on training, but there are also opportunities such as youth work, childcare or becoming a teaching assistant.
Essentially, the knowledge that you are having a direct impact on people’s lives and you are helping them to develop themselves is immensely rewarding.
2) Nursing and Healthcare
As well as being able to serve others, nursing is a field that is always looking for new staff members so there will be no shortage of job opportunities. Just take a look at https://www.staffnurse.com/ to find out more.
Beyond the range of hospital jobs that you can choose from, you could also find yourself working in a GP surgery, adult care centres or people’s homes, to name a few.
The launch of the nursing degree apprenticeship has been designed to make the career easier for people to enter, but obtaining a degree is still required to progress in this field.
Otherwise, there are plenty of other careers in healthcare apart from being a nurse including physiotherapy, midwifery or pharmacy.
Although it takes a great deal of hard work and commitment to enter this career path in the first place, there is no doubt that working in medicine is one of the most rewarding options out there.
After all, you are helping people with their most important commodity; life.
As well as becoming involved in the day-to-day treatment of patients, there is also the option to go into the research side of the field and help develop groundbreaking medicine.
And there are also a wide range of medical specialties to choose from so you can decide on one that perfectly suits your interests.
On the down side, this tends to be a very demanding option that requires a lot of dedication to the role which can often impact work-life balance.
4) Social Work
Social work is a career that brings you into direct contact with some of the most vulnerable people in society.
Some of the most common include elderly people, adults with mental health issues and people with learning difficulties.
You will probably be required to get involved in some very tough situations including child protection, adoption or working with offenders. To become a full social worker, you will need to obtain a degree, but there are other non-degree options that give you the opportunity to work in this field in other capacities.
Be in the know that many of these jobs come along with high levels of anxiety and the need to work in some very challenging situations.
5) Emergency Services
Comprising of the police, ambulance and fire and rescue, the emergency services are three different career paths.
They all have in common the responsibility to directly respond to people in their most urgent time of need. And these tend to be very community-oriented jobs, as well as ones in which the tasks vary greatly.
There are a wide range of different options and entry levels for each of the three sectors we have mentioned.
The downside is that the working hours tend to be unstable and you are also likely to find yourself working on call.
But there is also a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that you are making a genuine difference to society.
6) Charity Work
There are all kind of career paths that are directly linked to the charity sector from fundraising to marketing.
You may find yourself directly interacting with people or you may be in a more office-based role, but either way, you will have the knowledge that you are closely involved in helping others.
Jobs are open for both graduates and non-graduates, and there are also plenty of voluntary opportunities as well.
If you know that you are directly involved in a field that you are passionate about, this is a fantastic and motivating feeling that can give you immense job satisfaction. Keep in mind you may have to work your way up from the bottom to get there or come into the sector from a different career path entirely.
You may not naturally associate a career in law with one which is helping people, but there are some options which give you the opportunity to give a voice to people without one.
For example, you could go down a career in criminal defence in which you support people who have been accused of crimes.
You could also become involved in the child protection side of law in which you help children in very vulnerable situations. Solicitors and barristers are the jobs that grab most of the headlines, but there are also plenty of entry-level positions that all you to work your way up.
Ultimately, you need to be selective about the type of job you are going for so that you have the feeling that you are helping people and making a genuine difference to their lives.
8) Science and Engineering
Though a lot of science and engineering careers are less about helping people on a daily basis, they are often involved in making the big societal changes that make all the difference in the long run.
For example, in a science career role, you could be involved in protecting the environment or developing new health treatments for people.
Plenty of engineering paths also lead to positive changes for people such as developing renewable energy sources.
Again, it is all about being selective with your career choice so you go for one that provides you with the maximum amount of job satisfaction and the feeling that you are really helping people.
9) Public Service
Though people who work in politics often have a bad reputation, many people do enter this particular career path because they want to help others.
The work that you are doing could impact the entirety of the country, even though whether you are in contact with them directly or not depends on what job role you go into.
So, if you are particularly passionate about the community you live in, a career in local government could be the ideal solution.
Alternatively, you could work in central government and choose between all the different major areas such as pensions, healthcare, education and justice. Job roles are varied so you could be coming in from a wide range of backgrounds.
But if you progress high up the career ladder, stress levels can rise accordingly as you are having to make the decisions that really impact people’s lives.
Psychology still remains a rapidly developing field. And the increasing focus on mental health in society means that there are more options than ever before becoming available.
Some of the most common branches of psychology that people enter include health, clinical, counselling, educational and forensic.
Like other job roles we have talked about already, you have the reward of knowing that you are directly helping people who are struggling with a range of complex issues.
The 10 career paths we have talked about are just some of the potential options you have if you are looking to get into a career that involves helping others.
While some require a great deal of training and study, others can be entered at any stage.
Essentially, you should think about where your passions lie before matching yourself up to one of these options.
It may be that you want to come into contact with people directly and feel like you are helping people in this way. It may be that you like the idea of contributing to wider societal changes that help people in the long-run.
Whatever the case, many people find that personal rewards and job satisfaction from one of these types of career outweigh the financial incentives of other paths.
Though if you work your way up, you still have an excellent opportunity to strike the perfect balance of finding a job that is rewarding in both senses of the word.
High Risk Career Choices That Could Pay Off Big
Are you the type of person who enjoys adrenaline and high-risk, high-reward opportunities? You’ll probably fit perfectly in one of these risky career fields below.
Career choices are never easy. Whether you’re a high schooler, a college kid, a young professional, or a middle aged adult, it’s difficult but crucial you find the right job.
A large portion of your happiness and future depend on it.
While there’s advice all over about how to find the right career based on your personality, sometimes this can lead to overthinking and feeling paralyzed on what to do next.
It’s best to know yourself and trust your gut when it comes to making the right career choice.
Since every choice you make in life will come with its own risk that it may not pay off, sometimes the ones with the most risk are the ones worth risking everything for to be happy.
For the risk-takers out there who need to have a sense of fulfillment in their work, the following high risk jobs could be right up your alley.
Starting Your Own Business
If there’s one career move that a lot of us will want to make, but can often be afraid of, it’s starting a business from scratch.
Starting your own business will always be a risk. Even when you have the capital, a solid business plan, and a lot of experience in your field; you can never guarantee that it’s going to work out.
But if you’re willing to work hard and work at it, it’s a risk that can often pay off.
Becoming A Freelancer
Similarly, choosing to leave job security and go freelance can also be risky business (albeit less than starting your own business), but it’s often worth it.
The risk of going freelance is real and it will also depend on how well you are at adjusting to freelance life. Work won’t always be handed to you; you have to chase it. The investment you need to give here is both your heart and time.
By putting everything you’ve got into going freelance, you should see success.
Working In Another Country
When you do own your own business, or if you have a side project that you’re working on, there may be a time that you decide to go international. And there are always risks associated with this move.
When you’re moving into a market that you don’t know and that you have no experience in, there is a greater chance that you fail.
If you can do your research and plan your entry carefully, the potential successes will always be worth the risk.
Real Estate Investing
There’s always the option to turn to real estate investing.
If you’ve wanted to start a career for yourself that you can operate alongside your work, for the time being, property investment is a strong option.
Whether you look into buy to let options, BTO, or decide to start flipping properties, you have the potential to earn more money than you know what to do with on your own.
Many beginner investors need to first just build up capital, and then be willing to patiently wait until the property and price is right.
Becoming A Professor
When you’re starting out on your career path and still in college, or considering going back to study for your graduate degree, you may consider becoming a professor.
This is a risk for two reasons.
Firstly, the cost of getting your doctorate can’t be ignored. Debt and risk go hand in hand together.
And secondly, the idea that you’re missing out on being in the working world and getting paid a high salary for your skills.
Now if you make it through academia to become a professor and earn tenure, then your job security will be at an all-time high and career risk at an all-time low.
Becoming A Doctor
For those considering becoming a doctor, you may wonder if it is entirely worth it.
Medical education is long, challenging, and expensive.
So you have to be able to analyze the cost vs. the reward relationship when it comes to training to become a doctor.
If you’re skilled, passionate, and willing to work hard, you should be able to both out-work and out-earn your student debt before you know it.
Training As A Pilot
As far as adventurous careers go, if you want to enjoy job security and a good salary at the same time, you’re often limited with choice.
However, a strong option would be to train as a pilot.
Of course there are risks with any kind of job like this, but you should find that although the training is costly, the salary you receive in return will repay your investment, and your security will shatter any risk.
You’ll also gain the flexibility to fly commercial or private, which can’t be said in many careers.
Joining The Army
An army job does not need as much of an investment upfront in terms of experience or money, but it does require a few years of your life.
Although some positions will require a college education like an army officer, it’s not required across entry-level positions. Out of all the options on this list, this one may be the easiest to begin.
Keep in mind a career within the army may prove a risk to your life at times, but the security, skills training and experience may make it the best investment you could make.
Working For The Government
You may also want to consider joining the government.
Working for the federal government, although not a risk in itself (depending on your role) can be worth the investment in your education that you may need to make.
You will often benefit from great working rewards and enjoy a varied working day, especially if you decide to go into an intelligence field.
At some point in your career, you may also want to think about going into mentorship.
Mentoring is often a great way to give back to the industry and encourage bright talent for the future, although it can mean you have to give up your time with very little financial gain in return.
Often times mentors find that the personal rewards make any risk you take entirely worth it.
5 Best Future Careers, And 5 That Will Disappear
If you’re going to look for a new career, why not consider the best future careers to make sure that job is going to be as profitable in 20 years as it is now?
There’s a whole bunch of careers that are set to disappear as organizations become more dependent on computers and automation to do the heavy legwork for them.
Some experts think that somewhere in the region of 47% of jobs might be lost over the coming decades. That’s absurd if you think about this for a minute!
If you’re looking for a career that will stay relevant, you’d have your head on straight if you considered picking a field from the five we’ve listed below—and avoiding the five industries listed below them.
Good Future Careers
1. Cyber Security
The world’s going to be even more reliant on internet systems than it is now. With the arrival of the “internet of things”, it’s going to be all around us, a part of everything we do.
This, naturally, will make the criminals of the world pay attention – and as such, as our reliance on these systems grows, so will the importance of staying one step ahead of the people looking to hack and causing mischief.
If you know how to keep these attacks at bay, you’ll be high in demand in the corporate or government sector.
2. Tech Development
Well now, the whole world isn’t going to become dependent on technology just by chance: there’s going to be people behind those systems, working hard to find the next great breakthrough and push the world forward.
It’s important to note that not all IT based jobs will be safe; the market for app development jobs, for example, is likely to wind down.
However, if you can train yourself in advanced technology systems and make sure you’re always at the cutting edge of what’s happening, you’ll find plenty of work.
3. Data Analyst
Data is already used to influence companies much more than you probably realize, but it’s set to become even bigger in the next decade and beyond.
There’s already more data than any company could need, but there’s a problem: there aren’t enough people who know how to interpret the data.
If you’ve got an eye for spotting trends and can make sense of large quantities of information, then look at becoming a data analyst. Computers won’t be able to make sense of it on their own (in the beginning at least): it’ll need the human touch.
And talking of a human touch; healthcare is another industry that will be kept safe from computers.
Of course, automation and AI will form a significant part of healthcare, but it’ll work in conjunction with health professionals, not replace them.
Don’t worry if you don’t like the thought of dealing with blood and other healthcare hazards; there are plenty of specialized jobs available that are just as safe.
If we take a look at the job prospects for a radiologist via wikiprofessional.org, we can see that it’s a future proof career option; demand for this job, along with other physicians, is due to grow by 24% over the next few years.
Some jobs just can’t be performed by a machine, and healthcare is right at the top of the list.
5. Social Care
There’ll also be plenty of jobs in an industry that can be considered the cousin of healthcare, social care.
Again, there will be elements of technology incorporated into the industry, but it’ll be working alongside the core workers, rather than replacing them, as the very essence of this type of work depends on human interaction.
And this market won’t just be safe because computers can’t take over: it’s a growing industry in its own right.
In the not too distant future, people aged 70 and over are going to form the biggest age group in the country, and there’ll need more people than there currently are to take care of them.
Bad Future Careers
1. Number Crunching
If you’ve got a knack for mathematics and producing reports and paperwork, then look away now, because this is one surprising career that is likely to shrink in importance in the forthcoming years.
While it currently requires a high degree of expertise, a slew of applications that will more or less automate the entire process are already here, and there will be more on the way, too.
Though traditional companies still rely on human hands to take care of these jobs, modern companies are using machines to take care of their account, bookkeeping, tax returns, and so on, and it’ll be these companies who dominate the future.
2. Global Knowledge
The rapid globalization of the economy has meant it’s been a golden age for workers who were able to navigate different cultures and languages.
While we’re still a ways off from not needing tour guides with specialized, in-depth knowledge, the abundance of apps and other smartphone related tools will shrink this industry over time.
At a more immediate risk are translators, who will have to compete with software that automatically translates languages. The tech isn’t quite there yet, but it is coming, and from then it’ll only be the highly sensitive translations that are done by humans.
3. Non-Artistic Writing
Now, there’s little chance a computer will take the place of a novelist anytime soon. That’s just not going to happen because art is inherently human.
However, writing that isn’t obviously artistic, such as web content, technical reports, and (gasp) newspaper articles will increasingly be written by machines.
Some news outlets already use bots to write their weather reports, and it has been reported (by humans) that robots are more and more responsible for what we’re reading online and in our newspapers.
The entire logistics industry is about to be turned upside down, as nearly all components can be performed by a robot. Machines will be responsible for the running of warehouses, packaging, and delivery, with little to no human hands helping them along the way.
For a glimpse into the future, look no further than Amazon’s delivery plans. Welcome to the future!
According to studies, broadcasters score some of the lowest when it comes to job growth, stress, and work environment.
This makes sense since competition has to be high for these limited roles and job security is not going to be strong when a media company can quickly fill a broadcasting role with another talking head.
It’s also difficult to find that first broadcasting job as radio stations become syndicated and the Internet gobbles up more music and sports positions.
These are just a few of industries where humans will have more or less importance in the future. So if you’re looking for a change of career, make sure it’s one for the future!