Navigating recruitment events: Part 1

Recruiting events are great opportunities to meet employers from a wide range of industries and potentially obtain job interviews. If you make a favorable impression, you have the best chance of being invited to interview. Time spent at recruiting events can pay off—it’s your chance to see many career opportunities that are open to you, and you may connect with potential employers who can offer you a job. They also provide an opportunity to practice your interview skills in a less formal environment.

Recruiting events are usually large occasions and can be overwhelming if you are not properly prepared. To be successful at such an event, it’s important to prepare ahead of time. Here are some tips from the Weston Career Center:

Get a list of participating companies

Check the hosting organization’s website or looking for printed publications a few days before the event. Usually a list of companies and a map of their locations will be provided for larger events.

Find connections within those companies

If possible, find someone you know who works at a company you’re interested in; alumni are good resources. At the event, you can mention the name of your contact to the recruiter, which can help separate you from the rest of the students.

Research the companies

Employers expect you to know something about their companies before you talk to them. In addition to visiting company websites, you can use annual reports, press releases, and newspaper coverage that can be found on the Internet or in the WCC Resource Area.

Maximize your time

Maximize the brief time you have with recruiters by knowing how your skills and interests match their needs.

Understand the job openings and opportunities

Become familiar with types of career opportunities available at the companies of greatest interest to you (most company websites have this information), and prepare to sell yourself accordingly. You are the product, and employers are the customer.

Prepare your 30-second self-introduction

This should include your name, your education, and your career interests as they relate to the company. In addition, always come prepared with an example of your skills and experiences.

Schedule a mock interview

Set up a mock interview with an advisor to practice your introduction and to discuss your marketing strategy. Practicing will make you more relaxed and confident during the event.

If possible, arrive early

Recruiters may have to leave early, and they can be tired and less attentive at the end of a long day.

If you’re nervous…

Consider approaching a recruiter with a company that is not one of your top choices first as practice.

Choose your top booths ahead of time

It’s important to plan which company booths you want to target, and focus on no more than three to five that are of special interest to you. You can visit more companies if you like, but make sure that your efforts are focused on your top companies first.

Bring several copies of your resume

It is a good idea to have more than one targeted résumé with different career objectives if you are looking at several career options (résumé should be on résumé-quality paper, and you should bring at least one copy for each company you plan to visit).

Stay tuned for part 2!

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