Easy Tips to Work a Room

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Meeting recruiters can be a nail-biting experience, but with a little preparation and tips from the Whitman Career Center, anyone can have a successful Career Fair. Marissa Smith at the Career Center shared a few last minute tips that are important to have top of mind before heading to the Dome.

Day of the Fair:

  • Keep a spare shirt or dress ironed and ready for emergencies. By now you would have decided what you want to wear, but keep a back up outfit ready in case something unexpected happens.
  • Revise your notes. Revise and check the notes you have made regarding your favorite companies.
  • Rehearse your pitch. Even though you have tried it multiple times, rehearse your pitch a few more times, preferably in front of a friend. Make sure you are speaking naturally and remember to keep it conversational.
  • Use breath mints. Brush your teeth or use breath mints before heading to the fair. You don’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons.

At the fair:

  • Stand up straight. While standing in line to speak with corporate representatives, stand up straight and remember to smile.
  • Silence or switch off your phone. These three hours are crucial to your career path. Make sure your phone does not distract you during this time. Recruiters do notice if you are texting or on social media while you wait in line.
  • Maintain eye contact. You want to appear confident while talking to a potential employer, and maintaining eye contact is a great way to do this.
  • Firm Handshake. Make a strong impression with a firm handshake.
  • Ask recruiters about next steps. Show them that you have done your research and ask about the next steps of the process.
  • Take notes after conversation. Jotting down details will help you build content for your thank you letters.
  • Exchange business cards and resumes. It’s important to hand out your resume and business cards, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Don’t hand it out to every table and leave. Also, make sure you get the recruiter’s business card to keep in touch.
  • You are not there for the goodies. Don’t go table-to-table picking up “swag” – recruiters take notice.
  • Don’t whisper. Speak loudly and clearly so you can be heard – career fairs can be noisy.
  • Don’t arrive at the end of the fair. You need ample time to talk to each company you are interested in.
  • Don’t’ ask about salary or benefits. The first time meeting a recruiter is not the appropriate time to ask about the salary and benefits of a position.

After the fair:

  • Write thank you notes: Make use of the notes that you made to write personal thank you notes or emails.

Nishtha Choudhary

Nishtha is a member of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management's social media team. A second-year MBA student, she graduated from Maharishi Dayanand University with a degree in electronics and communication engineering, where she was actively involved in the campus sports community. Nishtha then worked as an engineer for Ericsson Global India Ltd. for around 3 years. She recently interned at Kara Ross, NY as a social media and marketing intern where she helped the company improve their social media outreach.

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