Life after college seems so far away. It seems crazy that a life without tests, papers due at midnight, and constant pressure to pass the next exam exists. However, after these four years, our careers begin and all that we have been working for takes shape into a job with a paycheck.
This may sound extremely stressful, believe me, I know. But, MTSU provides plenty of opportunities for success, and our annual career fair in Murphy Center is a great way to start. With over 150 employers attending, the three-hour event will be a great opportunity for you to market yourself to potential employers from across the region.
Here are 5 things you should do to get the most out of the career fair:
1) Dress up that resume
Your resume is a brief introduction of all you have to offer including your skill set and past success. Beforehand, you should print off at least 10 resumes and put them in manilla folders (get a pack of 24 for six dollars at Office Depot). For each employer you talk to, make sure to hand them the folder as you introduce yourself.
For help writing your resume, the Career Development Center has great resources here: Resume Assistance.
PRO TIP: You will also want to beef up your LinkedIn profile and make sure you highlight any internship work or previous job experience that could help you connect with these employers.
2) Shake hands. Make eye contact.
Believe it or not, the right handshake can go a long way in asserting yourself as a professional student ready to land that first job right out of school. As you introduce yourself, it is important to look the employer in the eye to show you are confident. Keep making eye contact as you carry on your conversation.
Here is a great video to help you learn how to present yourself professionally: How to Shake Hands and Introduce Yourself
3) Dress professional and wear your job face
A good outfit and a great smile go a long way when meeting future employers. Guys should wear a button down and a blazer with khaki or colored chinos and dress shoes. Girls should wear either dress pants or a pencil skirt with a nice blouse and/ or blazer and casual heels or flats.
You can get just the outfit you need through the Raiders’ Closet here on campus!
A confident smile and a positive attitude go a long way in showing you are prepared and ready to be successful. Show these employers that you are happy to be there and excited about your future career.
4) Branch out- don’t just stick to employers that match your major perfectly
There are opportunities for people with a college degree everywhere. Even if a company doesn’t specifically sound like a place where someone with your major would work, there could a place you are needed with your skill set. Networking is especially important in today’s day and age and the more people you talk to; the more opportunities will present themselves.
5) Leave a mark- don’t leave without them knowing exactly who you are
Make sure the employers you talk to know enough about you to make them want to follow up with you and set up an interview. Share your passion for your major as well as what you hope to accomplish in the workforce. Show them why you are interested in working for them and what you will contribute if you get a job. Remember that this may be the only opportunity you get to meet these employers, so put your best foot forward.
For further resources check out the Career Development Center. We hope to see you at next year’s career fair!