Career fair season is just around the corner- can you believe it? There’s a contagious energy prevalent on college campuses and it’s encouraging to meet students who are eager to connect with your organization. However, there’s also an exhaustion that accompanies career fair season. Brought on by miles traveled and answering the question, “so, what are you hiring for” too many times to count.
Whether you have the energy of the first fair of the season, or the exhaustion of the 10th, it’s critical to put your best foot forward. To help your organization shine this fall we’ve compiled a list of 8 things employers shouldn’t do at career fairs.
Career Fair DON’Ts for Employers
1. Set up after the fair has started or tear down before it’s over. I get it. You’re in a college town and maybe you took advantage of the cheap drinks when you got into town the night before. There is no excuse for showing up late though! Also, be cognizant of the fair end time when planning travel arrangements. If a student finds your booth empty, it’s not a great impression.
2. Tell students that all they need to know can be found online. What’s the point of the student putting forth the effort of coming to the career fair if they could have stayed in bed and just Googled your organization? Offer some value to the students who are making the effort to connect in person.
3. Shoo away underclassman. Not many organizations will have opportunities for freshman, but some universities require their freshman to attend the career fair to expose them to career opportunities early. Be prepared to talk to these students about what they do in the upcoming years to position themselves as a competitive candidate for future positions.
4. Be unclear/vague on hiring timelines. Be prepared to share the hiring process/timeline for all open positions.
5. Over or Underdress. If you’re hiring for crop scout interns, you probably don’t need to wear a suit. If you’re hiring attorneys, however, the suit is likely appropriate. Consider the culture of your organization and the type of roles you are looking to fill and dress accordingly.
6. Take off your shoes. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Grown professionals standing at their booth barefoot. Yes, standing on that gym floor all day gets difficult. Wear a better pair of shoes and keep them on your feet.
7. Sit behind the table. This is uninviting to students. Make the effort to stand up, especially when you’re talking with students (but the entire time is better). Additionally, stay off your laptop and phone.
8. Eat while at the booth. It can be a long day, especially if you’re the only employee at the booth. However, I PROMISE that you won’t starve. Kudos to the universities that provide the meal at the beginning of the fair rather than in the middle of it.
Check out upcoming career fairs on AgCareers.com.