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UMGC Career ConnectionHow to Prepare for the In-Person Career Fair

Rhoda Smackum
By Rhoda Smackum

Career fairs are a wonderful opportunity to meet recruiters, network, and learn about potential job openings. However, to make the most of it, you will want to prepare in advance. Continue below for tips to help you prepare for the upcoming in-person UMGC 2020 Spring Career Fair:

Prepare Your Resume

Prior to the career fair, you’ll want to tailor your resume for any positions you’re interested in. Depending on the job descriptions, you may need to create a version for each position. You can obtain feedback on your resume using the free resume tools on CareerQuest, which VMock for instant feedback or Resunate to customize your resume for a specific opportunity.

Register for the Career Fair

To attend the upcoming in-person Career Fair, you must register. After you registering, you will have the opportunity to upload your resume, create a profile, and view the employers that will be represented.

Research the Participating Employers

Before the career fair, make a list of the employers you are interested in speaking with and, next to each one, include the reasons why you want to work for that company. From there, visit the website of each organization on your list. Get a sense of each company’s culture, check out open positions, decide which positions are of interest to you, and determine why you would be a good fit. Collecting this information prior to the career fair will help you prepare for conversations with recruiters.

Search and Download the App

Before the career fair, be sure to download and become familiar with the ScanShake Visitor app on your phone or tablet. This app offers the following career fair tools and resources to help organize your day:

  • Complete employer information, including contact information, job listings, and more
  • Event floor plan
  • Option to take notes in the app for easier follow up
  • Option to set up your profile in the app
  • Option to digitally exchange your resume with employers (Please Note: This feature does limit the need for paper copies of your resume but bring a few with you just in case.)

Craft your Elevator Pitch

Throughout the career fair you will introduce yourself many times to different employers, so be sure to develop your elevator pitch ahead of the event. An elevator pitch is a 30-60 second recap of who you are and what you do. You do not need to include your entire work history and career objectives in your pitch. For more tips, watch The Elevator Pitch to see how to craft an effective introduction.

Attend a Prep Session

To help you further prepare for and increase your effectiveness at the in-person UMGC 2020 Spring Career Fair, I want to invite you to attend UMGC Career Services’ upcoming prep webinar on March 16, 2020 at 7 p.m. EDT. Register here.

As always, keep in mind that UMGC Career Services is available to help you plan and achieve career success. Set up an appointment with a UMGC Career Advising Specialist.

Rhoda Smackum is a career advising specialist for Career Services and Alumni Relations at University of Maryland Global Campus. She has approximately 28,000 hours of work experience in the field of career development. Ms. Smackum enjoys working collaboratively, in partnership with students and alumni to identify career issues, match values with career choices and obtain meaningful work. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Bowie State University and a Bachelor of General Studies degree from the University of Maryland College Park. She is a Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS) and an Associate Certified Career Coach.