Every semester, TMCC’s Career Center hosts Job Fair events to help connect our students to their potential employers. While it might look like any other on-campus “fair” with tables scattered throughout the Student Center, don’t be fooled by appearances: this is the real deal.
According to Career Center Coordinator Kelley Wong, students really should prepare themselves for the event because employers are looking to hire employees on the spot. “Some of them set up areas at the fair where they can interview applicants that interest them,” said Wong. “They also use rooms in the Career Center to show new hires training videos.”
So, how do you prepare for a Career Fair?
Hopefully, you’ve scheduled in one (or all) of the Spring Break Bootcamp Workshops. If not, here are a few quick tips that can help you to not only survive—but end up employed—after TMCC’s Job Fairs.
- You don’t have to be an extrovert. Don’t get us wrong, it probably helps, but introverted students can do just as well as extroverted ones at events like this. The key is in how prepared you are for the event. Do you have a resume? A business card? A LinkedIn profile? Practice what you will say in the mirror. Don’t make the day of the Job Fair the first day you do any of these things.
- Do your research. If you need help targeting employers looking for employees, ask the Career Center. But, also be realistic: just because it’s a hospital doesn’t mean that they are only looking for nurses. Hospitals need marketing, accounting and administrative teams to keep them running, too, just like any other working entity.
- Ask the right questions. Don’t be that person who walks up to a table and asks: “So, what does your company do?” Instead, you should use the time you have at a Job Fair to ask the representatives at the companies that interest you about the workplace culture: do people work together, or are departments siloed? What is the overall “feel” of the place? These kinds of questions will help you determine if the company is a good fit for you and vice-versa.
- Perfect your message. A big reason why employers participate in job fairs is to meet candidates in person. While someone’s resume might look great, if you don’t “look” professional, can’t communicate effectively or if you don’t make eye contact when you speak or shake hands with others, chances are, you aren’t going to get the job. These are called “soft skills” and they are just as vital as the technical skill set you bring to the table.
- Leave them with something tangible. Never go to a job fair empty-handed. In the very (and we mean VERY) least, bring along a stack of business cards. Ideally, you should have your resume to hand to potential employers, too—with a link to your LinkedIn profile.
- Always follow up. If it’s a job you’re interested in (or even a professional contact worth fostering) always send a follow-up email no more than 48-hours after the event. This short-and-sweet message should thank them for their time and include some other detail about your conversation—that you are grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the company, or to talk with other professionals in the field.
Job Fairs Happening this Semester
If you’re looking to land a professional career this semester, you’re in luck! TMCC is hosting three Job Fair events where you can connect with employers in our community.
Job Fair at TMCC’s Dandini Campus on March 27
This is the main event, and is free and open to all TMCC students. The event will last from 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Job Fair at the William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center on April 24
This job fair will host 32 employers looking for potential employees in the technical and applied sciences. The event will last from 4–7 p.m. and is free and open to students and the community.
Veteran’s Job and Resource Fair at Dandini Campus on May 3
This event, which is open to all veterans and their spouses, will feature employers and resource organizations
For more information about the upcoming Job Fairs, contact the Career Center at 775-674-7645.