My First Career Fair Experience

As someone who aims to attend graduate school, I did not think about going to career fairs until my senior year. However, as one of my friends said: “It’s a totally unique experience from our school work, and you will find it useful in all aspects.” Therefore, I went to the Engineering Career Fair on September 2, and I had to admit that I have learnt quite a lot.

Before Career Fair

I had my resume reviewed a couple times both by advisors and my friends before the career fair. An outstanding resume is one of the most important parts because recruiters only have a couple minutes to scan them, and then decide whether they would schedule an interview or not. It would be nice if resumes are printed on specific paper, but nowadays most companies take photos as electronic copies, and they will ask us to apply online anyway.

I also prepared an elevator pitch about my recent research experiences, and related courses I have taken. In order to impress recruiters, I have to speak fast, fluently and use keywords.

During Career Fair

To be honest, I did not expect such a crowd and the long time I have to wait in the line to speak with a recruiter. (Probably because those companies are very popular.) Thanks to the Illinois Career Fair App and our new career service called “Handshake,” I could narrow my targets and find their locations quickly solely by using my phone. It was extremely tiring, but I got the chance to ask my dream companies’ expectations, useful courses and necessary skills I need to acquire.

After Career Fair

This time, I only got one feedback, but I’m not too upset about it. Attending career fairs is just one of many ways our school provides us to get a job. I did agree with my friend that it was a great chance to understand the job market and explore possibilities of ourselves. Now I am not afraid of facing my shortcomings because I still have time to improve them, then show my advantages to employers. I am really looking forward to the next career fair, and I wish everyone good luck!

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