What to bring to EXPOs/Job Fairs
- Information about your company & the opportunities you offer
- Give away items - candy, trinkets, etc. (Food is always popular with college students!)
- Business cards - to hand out to interested students (and to register to win a door prize!)
- Applications or Application Information - bring plenty, we always anticipate record attendance.
Tips for Recruiters -
You will find that West Texas A&M University students behave like most other college students at a career fair. They may wander around for a while with a friend before deciding to talk to anyone. They probably are scared and nervous about starting a conversation with a stranger. Career Services staff members work hard to help students get the most out of this event but you can help too!
As a company representative, you can do a great deal to generate interest in your organization. A recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) showed that college students view job fairs as effective job search venues. The study found that students wanted company representative who were "knowledgeable and enthusiastic" and who "demonstrate a genuine interest in student job seekers." Students want representatives to take the initiative in beginning a conversation, to look over their resumes before setting them aside, to give them a business card and invite them to call with any questions.
Additionally, the study found that students were attracted to displays that "prominently feature the employer's name, list available positions, and look professional." The results suggest that employers should assign several representatives to the job fair to (1) demonstrate the diversity of their workforce, (2) reduce lines at exhibits and (3) ensure that exhibits are not left unattended. Lastly, the survey indicated that 86% of job fair attendees consider it "important or very important" for employers to have recruiting brochures or other paper handouts available to job seekers. (For more information about NACE and the study, please visit their NACE website.)
Here are a few other tips that may help you be successful at our EXPOs and Career Fairs:
Before you come -
- Set a goal and design your effort around that aim:
- Recruiting students for full time employment positions
- Sharing personal career information and typical steps to success
- Enhancing image and gaining name recognition
- Anticipate problems before the event - expect the unexpected and plan accordingly (ie. DVD player or computer doesn't work, extension cord not long enough, etc.)
- Take advantage of the set-up time to get set up - often, the best and most motivated students are waiting for the doors to open, you don't want to be fixing up your table when they walk by.
Your Display -
- Remember, a good exhibit is simply a stage for information exchange - the people (i.e., YOU!) are the focus, not your table display
- However, when staff can't communicate well, it can be the booth that informs the prospect (you may have to step away or may be involved talking to one student when another comes up...).
- Be respectful of your neighbors at the career event! Don't bring a display that is larger than the space you have been allotted (typically 6' wide.) For questions about space, contact Career Services.
Your Staff -
- Make a good first impression - students will base their opinion of the company on YOU. Personalities, not the display, are what students will remember when the EXPO is over.
- Staff must be very knowledgeable about the company and your products and opportunities.
- Visitors to your 'booth' are potential leads; don't expect an immediate "sale." Students tend to be turned off by a "hard sell." EXPO attendees prefer a short, overall view of what you have to offer.
- Stand in front of your display and table (wear comfortable shoes!) Sitting in the chair behind your table doesn't provide the welcoming atmosphere you're after.
- Wear name tags prominently - we can provide you with one if needed.
- Provide handouts and brochures about your company's products and career paths.
- Entertaining displays get results - remember, students live in a colorful world of multimedia. If you don't have a multimedia approach, it will come down to your personality!
- Taped presentations should be no more than 5-10 minutes long. Many participants see the EXPO as a buffet - they want to explore all their options before getting more in-depth information.
Questions - ??????
- Don't wait for EXPO participants to approach you - be assertive, friendly and sincere.
- Ask passersby friendly, open-ended, yet specific questions. "What is your major?" or "Are you interested in working in the Metroplex?" Based on the response, you can separate leads from tire-kickers.
Personal Survival -
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Know that you will be on your feet for the duration of the EXPO.
- Take brief, brisk walks to keep your feet and back from hurting - take advantage of the food in the hospitality room!
After the EXPO -
- Respond to all interested students personally ASAP to reinforce your good image and to "strike while the iron is hot."
- Visit with Career Services staff if you would like to do a follow up recruiting visit to campus!