My First Time at a Career Fair

A panorama shot taken by Florida Tech Conference Services of the Career Fair setup

One-stop shopping for employment. That’s what comes to my mind when someone mentions the words “career fair.” Many of us remember attending college fairs in high school to determine where we would pursue higher degrees. Career fairs hold several of the same properties, but with potential employers instead of institutions of higher learning.

Florida Tech Career Management Services recently held its Fall Career Fair with much buzz and anticipation. Students came in droves to shake hands with potential employers. For some, it was required for their classes (I know of some freshmen who had to go as part of their University Experience course). Others were looking to jump ahead and secure a summer internship or post-graduation job. I was offered extra credit from one of my professors to attend, but I had planned on going anyway.

It was a bit nerve-wracking talking with potential employers. This was the first time I’d ever been to a Career Fair to look for an internship. For starters, it’s all about formalities: handshakes, eye contact and the ability to carry on a conversation. Luckily, the Florida Tech Career Management Services office did a pretty good job in providing a crash course for those that came to the Career Fair and had no idea what to do. They set up little stations where a member of their staff instructed you on what to do in everything from saying your name to dressing the part.

The events leading up to the Career Fair involved some late nights stressing over my resume (keep this, delete that, move that over here). In the end, I think I’ve developed a pretty good resume. But in the resume world, there is always room for improvement. Initially, I actually had trouble deciding what to keep on my resume. If I included all the things I have been involved with, my resume would run over onto two pages. This goes against the current practice of just using one page.  Sometimes you need to make sacrifices where needed.  For example, I talked in one of my past posts about being the Maintenance Chief of the Sailing Club for two years. Due to space constraints, that leadership position didn’t make the cut on my resume.

The night before the fair was spent polishing my shoes, picking out my shirt/tie combination and making sure I had enough resumes printed out (not to mention the homework I had to do as an international business and marketing major).

I feel it was well worth my efforts to attend this year’s Career Fair. Even if I don’t end up getting callbacks from the resumes I handed out (fingers crossed that I do), I gained experience talking to companies in a new kind of business setting.  That’s certainly not a lesson you’d learn in class.

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