Preparing for a Career Fair


A career fair is a great way to talk to employers, find out what’s going on in your industry, and advance your professional agenda.  It is free and open to all ACS members who are registered for the national meeting. If you plan to participate, check out the tips below on how to make the most of this opportunity.

Before You Go

To get the most out of the career fair, you should register now, so employers can search your information. Once you are registered, you can post your resume, browse  jobs and request  interviews.

You need to have clear idea of what you’re looking for in a job – an objective that you can state in 1-2 sentences (like the objective on your resume) when you meet new people.  You may have more than one, if you’re open to multiple types of positions. If you do, make sure to communicate the right one to the right people.  Know what you must have in a new position, what you’d like to have, and what you can live without.

Research which companies will be in attendance at the fair, and learn as much as you can about them.  You may be surprised where the opportunities are.  Don’t forget to look at speakers in technical sessions, and identify ones to whom you want to talk.  Not just chemical companies, but personal care products, food, small companies, federal government, etc. all hire chemists to do all sorts of things, so investigate all opportunities before you go, and make note of the ones in which you are most interested.

Getting Ready

Pack a large stack of  business cards and 20 copies of your resume, and know where the copy center is in case you need more.  Pack for the weather where you are going, and of course, dress professionally.

At The Fair

During the Fair, you should check your account regularly for updates, and keep in touch with employers who contact you.

Once you are on-site, there will be lots to do.  On a walk-in basis there will be workshops on a variety of career related topics, including Targeting the Job Market, Resume Preparation, Effective Interviewing, First Year On the Job, Proposal Writing, and so on. You will also be able to sign up for a 30 minute personal resume review, or for a mock interview with an ACS Career Consultant.  Sign up early, as all slots usually fill, and you can sign up no more than one day ahead of time.

Monday morning at 9:30 am there will be a welcome mixer for candidates and employers.  This will be a way to mix INFORMALLY with both employers and other candidates.  This is not a place to ask for a job, but a place to talk with employers and find out what they are looking for in general (technical skills, interpersonal skills, etc.), what the market is like, and so on.

What to Expect

If possible, have a mock interview before you start real interviews, to identify and fix any problem areas.

If you are scheduled for a real interview, do much more research on the company.  Make sure to be on time (which means 10 minutes early), and allow for travel time.

To begin, shake hands, look the interviewer in the eye, and introduce yourself.  Sit down after invited to do so, or after the interviewer does. Throughout the interview be positive, don’t interrupt, and avoid nervous habits.  Listen to what they have to say, as well as telling them about yourself.

Be prepared to talk about your research for a 5 minute mini-seminar, with a flow sheet or diagrams handy to guide the discussion.

At end stand up, shake hands again, thank them for the interview, and ask them for their business card.

Afterwards

Make sure to send a thank you note, most likely an email before the end of the national meeting. Follow up with the company if you haven’t heard from them in 2-3 weeks, to let them know you’re still interested.

This article was written by Lisa M. Balbes, Ph.D. of Balbes Consultants. Lisa is a scientific communication consultant and author of: “Nontraditional Careers for Chemists,” published by Oxford University Press (2007).

10 Responses to Preparing for a Career Fair

  1. hemenparekh says:

    As compared to a jobseeker writing her own resume, a resume written by a professional expert resume-writer would any day prove better.

    But

    Before sending that well-written resume to a recruiter, can a jobseeker figure-out in advance what would happen if that resume

     gets ” rated / ranked / scored ” by recruiter ?

     gets compared automatically with resumes of other applicants ?

    Will she get an interview-call ?

    To know what is likely to happen , she has to just type “Resume Rater” in Google / Yahoo / Bing , and download this software tool ( free and without even login ) from any of the 35+ websites. Then rate her resume.

    Resume Rater mimics the ” resume-evaluation ” process of recruiters’ minds but does it in an unbiased / objective way.
    Resume Rater is absolutely non – discriminatory.

    Regards

    hemen parekh

    Jobs for All = Peace on Earth

    ________________________________________

  2. for the carrier fair we should always ready with our resume.last time i went in a fair but rejected due to my half preparation on my project.but now it is completed and i am looking the time when carrier fair held in my city.

  3. lots to think about.

  4. Sean says:

    Thank you for this kinda how to guide for preparing for a Career Fair. I never have been to one but will be very soon and was kinda scared as to how I should be prepared. This helps a lot!

  5. hebrew says:

    your blog is good…..

  6. […] written previously on how to prepare for a real-life career fair<https://acscareers.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/preparing-for-a-career-fair/&gt;.  While a lot of that advice still holds for a virtual career fair, there are other factors to […]

  7. blog emusic says:

    This piece of writing is actually a fastidious one it helps new internet visitors, who are
    wishing in favor of blogging.

  8. It’s an awesome paragraph in favor of all the web visitors; they will obtain
    benefit from it I am sure.

  9. I pay a quick visit day-to-day some web pages and information
    sites to read articles or reviews, however this blog offers quality based content.

  10. Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be
    ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new
    posts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: