The sun rises. Water is wet. Carol Christ dons a blue blazer as she struts about campus. These are all universal truths. Another universal truth: UC Berkeley’s career fairs can be a treasure trove of information — if you know what you’re looking for. From solving the mysteries of Handshake to perfecting that ratio of boastful and humble in your resume, there is something for everyone at these fairs. Read on to learn more tips that can help you make the most of campus career fairs!
Do your background research
Across the semester’s five remaining career fairs, there is a broad range of companies and professions represented. Students seeking careers in medicine, law, finance and more will find a wealth of opportunities at the career fairs, so it’s imperative to figure out where you want to work and what you want to do. Each fair has its own Handshake page with a brief description of the fair as well as a comprehensive list of the attending employers. Within that list, you can narrow down your preferred employer based on job type, industry and which majors the employers are most interested in!
Keep your resume short and sweet
There is no single correct way to structure your resume, but there are definitely things you can do to make it easier for employers to discover your best qualities. The first step is making your resume easy to read. Keep your experiences concise and relevant — if you can’t fit everything on one page, you might want to start cutting the fluff. Your resume should also be visually appealing, free of typos and as uncluttered as possible. Your resume is often the first impression you make on an employer. Make it a good one!
Go into your one-on-ones with a plan
Whether in-person or through Handshake, you might find yourself in a one-on-one session with the person you want to be hired by. A little scary, right? Despite the gravity of the situation, you can make the most of this valuable time with a bit of preparation and a dash of confidence. Once you’ve found the employers you want to prioritize at the fair (see: background research), develop some tailored questions you can ask the representative. Whether you ask about company culture, specifics on an organization’s mission or more information on the particular position they’re hiring for, asking thoughtful questions show representatives that you are someone who takes initiative!
Try to end on a high note
The last step is often the most important. After you’ve locked up your one-on-one, sending the representative a courteous follow-up email can do wonders for their opinion of you. Highlight some aspects of what you gained from the conversation so the representative knows you were engaged. Beyond that email, make sure you’ve covered your bases on LinkedIn and Handshake. Connect with the representatives you talked to so that, no matter what, you’ve formed a connection that can facilitate future opportunities in the industry. Career fairs are all about networking, and good lasting impressions are critical!
At the end of the day, these company representatives are here for your benefit. The amount of information you gather and professional connections you make at these events hinges upon how well you prepare. So go in with a plan. Figure out what you want to come out of the fair with, whether that’s more information on an interesting company or a relationship that you can utilize in the future. Be confident and focused, and you might just walk out with a golden opportunity.