Five Tips for Students Preparing for the Fall Career Fair

The Center for Career Services shares some tips for the Sept. 13 Career and Internship Fair.

Career Fair
GW students and alumni can meet with over 100 organizations at the Fall Career Fair on Sept. 28. (William Atkins/GW Today)
September 09, 2019

By Briahnna Brown

To make the best impression at the Fall 2019 Career and Internship Fair on Sept. 13 in the Charles E. Smith Center, George Washington University’s Center for Career Services has several tips for students and alumni planning to attend.

Students and alumni will have the opportunity to meet more than 100 organizations’ representatives at the fair to discuss possible internships and job opportunities.

Some highlights of this year’s fair include a LinkedIn Professional Photo Booth, which will give students a free headshot to use in a LinkedIn profile, and a Handshake FAQ Booth, which will answer questions about the website and offer tips on enhancing a Handshake profile to push relevant jobs and resources to the forefront.

First-year students are encouraged to start their career and internship journey by completing a self-assessment. The assessment can give them a better understanding of their skills and interests, and how to use this knowledge to thrive during their first year at GW and beyond.

Katie Greene, a career exploration coach who is managing the Fair Prep Room, said that her advice to students attending the fair is to be intentional about the employers they address and do some research on the organizations ahead of time.

“Your efforts at the career fair should be quality over quantity,” Ms. Greene said. “Bring your best self, be intentional and enjoy the process."

The Center for Career Services also offers these tips on being prepared for the career fair:

1. Utilize Handshake

Handshake is a great tool for fair preparation, and serves as a personal career management center for GW students and alumni. Students can use Handshake to:

  • RSVP for programs and workshops during the fair in Events.
  • Schedule an appointment with a career coach before the fair to get helpful advice.
  • View employers at the fair and create a list of “favorite” employers. The Center for Career Services recommends keeping this list manageable with no more than 10 employers and include familiar organizations as well as unfamiliar organizations.
  • Apply to jobs that employers post with just a click.

2. View this clip of recruiters providing tips about making a good impression at the fair.

3. Take a look at the interview preparation page as well as this guide to "Interview & Professional Dress" for visual tips, resources and ideas on looking your best when interacting with employers.

4. Practice your “elevator pitch.” Use this worksheet to learn how to clearly, confidently and concisely explain to an employer who you are and why you would be a good fit at their organization with a professional introduction.

5. Visit the Fair Prep Room

For some last-minute tips and support, stop by the Fair Prep Room on your way to the fair. The room will be in the auxiliary gym near student check-in at the 22nd Street main entrance of the Smith Center. There will also be a coat check available here to drop off coats and/or bags.

Ms. Greene said the room is a good space to meet with a career coach, prepare an “elevator pitch” and spend some time reviewing organizations of interest and putting together informed and thoughtful questions to ask while networking.

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