Preparation is key for career fair success

By Vivian Kwok | Reporter

Baylor’s Office of Career and Professional Development will be hosting their Internship & Career Fair from 3 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Center. Students who have not yet planned to attend or who have never attended a career fair still have time to prepare.

Employer relations specialist Desiree Foley said students should take advantage of the resources the Office of Career and Professional Development offers.

“We definitely recommend students to do research in advance to prepare for the fair,” Foley said. “So we have a workshop on Tuesday about Prepare for the Fair.”

Foley said today’s Tuesday Talks workshop will feature an employer recruiter who will share how students can do research before stepping into a company’s recruitment booth so they seem informed about the organization, their mission and their opportunities.

“We also encourage students to get online, to take advantage of our system Handshake,” Foley said.

She said students can view the list of employers who are coming to the Career & Internship Fair on Handshake.

“They can actually see what jobs they posted on Handshake, they can view information about job titles, what the employer is looking for,” Foley said. “That can spearhead their research.”

Studying the list of organizations and companies that will be present at the fair may help students maximize their experience there. Students can develop a list of recruiters with whom they would like to meet and allocate their time spent at each table. Director of employer relations Adam Kaye said students should plan to be at the fair for about an hour.

“The longer your list, they longer you would expect to be there,” Kaye said. “You don’t want to be in a rush. Block as much time as you can to be there.”

Foley said students are welcome to come and just talk to the recruiters, ask questions about that organization and then later decide where to apply. She said students should still come prepared with resumes to provide the recruiters.

“We definitely encourage students to bring multiple copies of their resume, especially if they know what tables they want to visit,” Foley said. “The recruiter can leave with information about the student, and they can remember their face and who they are.”

Foley also recommends that students have their resumes reviewed before attending the fair. Students wanting to have their resume reviewed can schedule an appointment or stop by during the Office of Career and Professional Development’s drop-in hours.

“We also have mock interviews,” Foley said. “That’s another good way to prepare for their career search in general but also for the fair.”

Foley also said the Office of Career and Professional Development enforces business professional attire but business casual attire would also be acceptable. The office has a closet available for students who do not own professional attire.

“We will have our Career Closet on the Go, and if students don’t own any professional attire we can help them,” Foley said. “Hopefully that won’t hold students back.”

Foley said students often think the career fairs may not cater to their specific major, which discourages attendance. However, Kaye and Foley both said the fair is open to all majors and there will be a variety of organizations. Kaye said over 60 organizations are currently registered to attend.

“This is really meant to be relevant for basically every major at Baylor,” Foley said.

Foley said students can also approach the fair as a more exploratory event to find out more about their interests.

“I would hope that [students] leave there more confident about themselves and about their job prospects and also feeling like they have a little more direction as far as what they would like to do,” Kaye said.