5 tips to help you land your first job during career fair season


Fall is here and college students are back at school. Now that classes have resumed, career fair season is right around the corner. After that comes a wonderful career, right?

But first, you need to land that ever-important first job. Here are five tips to help you accomplish that goal:

1. Take a career personality assessment

There are many tools students can use to learn what their skills are and how to best use them in their careers. The easiest way to do this is to utilize your school’s career center and find out what type of assessments it offers. These assessments give you insight into what your strengths and weaknesses are. After taking an assessment, use the insights you gain to think about potential ideas as great career options for your type of personality.

Through one of these assessments, I found that two of my strengths are working with people and solving problems, which helped me to focus on human resources as a career path. Now, I’m a Recruiting Program Manager.

2.Do your research and network

Once you’ve identified your strengths, start doing your research and network like crazy. After I took my personality assessment, I sent an email to family friends to see what connections I had in those types of areas.

You would be surprised how many people were willing to connect with me over the phone or meet for coffee to tell me about their jobs. From this experience, I was able to determine exactly what type of position I wanted and gained valuable resources into how to make my current career a reality.

3. Identify what companies and positions will be offered at your career fair

Two weeks prior to a career fair, I emailed my college’s career center to obtain a list of companies that would be attending. I researched those companies, made notes about what positions they had available and decided if any were a great a fit for me. I picked 10 top employers that I would love to work for and positions that fit my skill set.

From there, I looked into what soft skills I needed for these jobs. I quizzed myself on the products of those companies I was interested in and found out what those roles really entail so I could intelligently talk to recruiters or company representatives. Being prepared, I knew my passion would shine through.

4. Use social media to your advantage!

Prior to the career fair, I followed all the companies that I found interesting on social media. That way, I was able to keep up with the companies I was interested in and stay current about their latest news – like new job openings and information on their products and services.

This helped me tremendously during the career fair. I was able to talk about one company’s new software release and another company’s open position that was a great fit for me.

5. Get resume and elevator speech help

Next, make an appointment at your career center and bring your resume and the job descriptions you’re interested in along with you. The career center can help you make your resume stand out and bring your experience to life.

Another opportunity is to look into mock interviews or elevator speech opportunities at your career center. Mock interviews help you to practice interviewing and help you answer tough questions during corporate interviews.

Through these five steps, I was able to confidently talk to potential employers. While I’m biased because Hyland was my dream employer, my plan worked!

I hope these tips help you find your success. If you are interested in Hyland, please like us on social media and take a good look at our job opportunities. Best of luck this season and we hope to see you at Hyland’s booth!

Courtney Byham
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Courtney Byham

Courtney Byham is a recruiting program manager at Hyland. She has been a member of Hyland’s Recruiting team for five years. In her current role, she manages recruiting relationships and... read more about: Courtney Byham