Brace yourself for the upcoming Career Fair. Did those words send a shiver down your spine? You’re probably not the only one.
Career fairs can be intimidating with so much pressure to stand out among so many people. Take it easy and follow these tips to overcome your nerves.
1. Wear professional dress that you feel comfortable in.
You’ve probably heard that first impressions matter most. Even the most impressive resume is unable to land you a job if you’re looking sloppy.
Dressing professionally doesn’t mean that you can let your best suit compromise your comfort. Don’t wear a dress shirt that requires you to hold your breath to button up or wear heels that you can’t walk properly in. When you feel comfortable in your clothing, you will feel good about yourself.
2. Look confident.
Even if your hands and legs are shaking with fear, appear like you’re self-assured. In this case, you have to fake it till you make it! Give the employer a strong and firm handshake, show a lot of enthusiasm, make good eye contact and remember to smile. Also, hold your hands in front of you to avoid unconscious little habits like picking your fingers or brushing your hair.
3. Attend mock interviews.
Pay extra attention if your college is having mock interviews to prep you for the real deal. Mock interviews are a great way to gain some exposure and to see if you’re prepared for the Career Fair.
If you think that you didn’t do well in the mock interview, that’s perfectly fine! You just need to practice, practice and practice.
At the same time, do prepare a short 2-minute introduction of yourself that states your background briefly and your achievements. Make sure that you can recite the intro even in your sleep, so you don’t have to worry about losing your words when being interviewed.
4. Take on another perspective.
Although you are putting yourself out there to be hired, don’t forget you are also interviewing the employer to see if you are cut out for the job. A great solution to avoid uneasiness would be to treat the interview as a conversation for you and your employer to get to know each other better.
5. Attend as a freshman.
As a new student, it might seem like having a career is still far away.
Familiarizing yourself with the Career Fair environment can reduce anxiety and increase confidence. Even if your resume doesn't list a lot of experience yet, show enthusiasm in learning. Chances are you won’t get a job right away. However, employers like to see familiar faces. If you attend the Career Fair every year and show persistent interest in working with that company, your chances of getting hired will be higher.