Career Fairs in Your Student’s First-Year, and Beyond

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Each year the Center for Career Discovery & Development (affectionately called “C2D2”) hosts two career fairs.

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Each year the Center for Career Discovery & Development (affectionately called “C2D2”) hosts two career fairs. The Fall All-Majors Career Fair is the largest career fair on campus, with more than 5,100 students visiting over the two-day event. This year’s fall fair also brought 363 of the world’s leading companies to campus to recruit Tech students for internships, co-ops, and full-time positions.

The second fair hosted each year happens early in the spring semester. This year’s Spring All-Majors Career Fair will be hosted at McCamish Pavilion on January 16-17, 2019. Typically, the spring fair is a one-day event, but the past few years have been so well-attended that the event had to be stretched over two days. The expanded format will allow more companies to come on campus to recruit your students.

One question that always comes up around fair time is, “should I attend the fair as a freshman”? The short answer is: absolutely! The Career Fair is open to students from all majors and class levels and is an excellent opportunity for networking and professional development.

If your student is anxious about attending the fair, Andrea Comsa, senior director of career education at C2D2 has some very helpful tips:

  • Prepare for it. Preparation is key before attending a career fair. Make sure your resume is professional and highlights relevant skills and experiences. 
  • Review the career fair layout and have a plan. The scale of the fair can be intimidating and overwhelming if you do not have a plan. Use the Jobs and Careers  app to identify the top 10 companies you want to visit.
  • Research participating companies. Knowing who the participating companies are and what they are looking for is important. Browsing and researching the companies ahead of time can provide a marketable advantage to candidates. A list of companies is available here. Find out what positions the participating companies are recruiting for by navigating the list of jobs in CareerBuzz. 
  • Know your elevator pitch. Articulating the value you bring and showcasing your skills and experiences can distinguish you as a candidate.

There are also a few common mistakes first-timers can make that can be easily avoided:

  • Be professional. Although this may seem obvious enough, professionalism is more than just attire. “Recruiters need to see students as young professionals, not as college students,” said Lindsay. Avoid clumping in groups with your friends, and resist the urge to grab all of the free items. “Students are attracted to the freebies, but it is not professional to trudge through with a bag full of stuff.”
  • Go early in the day. “Recruiters are burned out by the end of the day, and some employers might pack up early,” said Lindsay. He recommends getting to the fair as early as possible to catch recruiters when they are most alert and engaged.
  • Follow Up. “Don’t wait too long to follow up with the recruiter,” said Lindsay. To stand out from the crowd, students should say something memorable that they can refer to in the follow-up, to help recruiters remember the conversation. “Take notes after speaking with the recruiters. Ask for their business cards and take notes on the back.”
  • “If a company is known as an aerospace company, that does not mean they are only recruiting aerospace engineers,” said Lindsay. “Companies are multi-faceted and need people in many different areas.” Lindsay encourages students to treat the fair like a strategic networking event. “If the recruiter is not recruiting for the area you’re interested in, then ask for a contact in your field. If all else fails, ask for a human resources contact.” 

Don’t forget to encourage your student to participate, even if it feels a little daunting. It’s never too early to start their career, and there’s no better place to start that journey than at a Georgia Tech career fair. If your student hasn’t had time to practice their “elevator pitch” or work on their resume, don’t worry! C2D2 has a number of free workshops hosted throughout the year to help with just that (C2D2 Workshops). And if your student needs to borrow business attire, the Georgia Tech Campus Closet offers free suit rentals. Visit their website for more information on how to borrow from their selection of business attire.

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  • Created By: Sara Warner
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Nov 2, 2018 - 11:02am
  • Last Updated: Nov 2, 2018 - 11:02am