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Prep Well

Develop Goals

  • What information, advice, resources, referrals, etc. are you seeking?

  • How many contacts do you want to make for the day?

i.e. During the Part-Time Jobs Career Fair, I’d like to directly submit my résumé and/or application to a series of part-time roles on the Ryerson campus. My goal for this afternoon is to meet with 15 organizations both on and off-campus to ask about the work that they do, as well as ask about current job offerings and upcoming opportunities.

Quality trumps quantity!
 

Research, research, research
 

Research: Find out which employers are expected at the event, especially the ones that align with your goals?

Why? During the fair, you can then impress employers using your knowledge of their organization and through your communication skills.

 

Use Tools

In your folder, be certain to bring:

  • Business cards (critical!)

  • Your targeted industry résumé

  • Your pitch (30 second self-statement) that highlights:

    • your special skills

    • accomplishments

    • career objectives and/or

    • how you can bring value to the prospective employer

       

Dress Professionally

Choose an outfit that helps you feel confident. This is often considered by employers to be a physical indication of your attitude towards yourself, and of your desire / expectations for employment. Business or business casual is usually acceptable. Find more information about professional dress here.

 

StandOut

Check Yourself

Focus on your non-verbal cues.

Are you:

  • Smiling naturally?

  • Establishing eye contact?

  • Conveying energy and enthusiasm?

  • Introducing yourself?

  • Adopting a firm, dry handshake?

  • Checking nametags?
Ask & Listen

Use open-ended questions to your advantage and avoid inquiries that generate only a "yes" or "no" response.

For example:

Open-ended question = "How would you describe your company culture?” - DO THIS!

v.s.

Closed question = “Do you have any open positions?”  - DON'T DO THIS!

Preparing 2-3 questions ahead of time about the company and your interest in working there is ideal.

 

Take Notes As You Go

At the first opportunity, jot down some of the following:

  • Who have you met?

  • New opportunities available

  • Timelines and notes about when to make follow-up arrangements and/or to have a follow-up conversation

Quick Tip: The back of business cards received is a great place to record notes.

Follow Up & Stay In Touch

If you have promised something, be sure to do it. Follow up with your new contacts and leads via LinkedIn, e-mail and other methods in order to stay connected and to say thank-you.