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Getting a Job via Career Fair

Hey..Career Fair? Is it really fair?!

lol ok sorry. I was not a fan of career fair, until I got a job because of that!

This post is inspired by something I’ve been sharing with everyone for a while.

Message screenshot of someone who texted me about how my tips helped with their job search

When I moved to the USA for a Masters degree 🎓, it was the first time I was introduced to “career fair”. I had no idea what and how to do it. No one to ask to, or tell about how to take advantage of the career fair, which can help you land an interview. If you are not an American Citizen, landing an interview is even more difficult.😥🙀

To be fair, I was told by my University’s Career Services department to follow these steps aka out of touch #BoomerAdvice 😉

  • Talk about you and when you are graduating
  • Tell about the positions you are looking for
  • Ask about them and if they are hiring for any

Year 1

⬇️ was my pickup line at career fair-

“Hi, I’m Riya Dashoriya, Masters of Science in Information Systems student. I am graduating in Aug 2016. I’m looking for internships or full-time positions related to Software Engineering. I was wondering if you can share more about your company. Are there are any open positions you’re looking to fill?”

Response 1: Hi Riya, nice to meet you. Yes, we are hiring. Please apply on the website.

Response 2: Hi Riya, thank you. We are so and so and so. We are currently looking for senior-level positions only.

Response 3: … we don’t sponsor H-1B visas 🤦‍♀️…

Response 4 (rarely): Hi Riya, we are so and so and so. We do have some open positions. We will forward to the hiring team.

End of conversation.

Here are some fun stats:

Number of companies I talked to: 40

Number of interview calls I received: 2

unmotivated and dejected and what a waste of time!

Message screenshot of how everyone expects to get printed copies of resume

Year 2

A year passed. 🗓 The next career fair was coming soon, so I thought of trying something different.

Step 1: Research all the companies coming to the career fair. Maybe use pen and paper way 📝 Write the relevant open positions, skills they are looking for, any job ID.

Step 2: If possible, cater your resume accordingly and print it out.

Step 3: On the day of the career fair, target those companies, and talk to them.

  • Who are you and when you are graduating
  • Talk about the darn position you are interested in. This should show you’ve done your research. You are excited. Additionally, You can say fun facts you read about the company.

My new pickup line-

“Hi, I’m Riya Dashoriya, MSIS student looking for full-time. I saw company A has a software engineer role open with job id 1234, and you are looking for skills such as Java, React, etc. I’ve done some great projects in them (give an example or two). I was hoping if you could forward my resume to the hiring manager.”

That’s it. That’s really it.

Funniest stats: 😉

Number of companies I shortlisted: 36

Number of companies I reached out to: 24

Number of interview calls I received: 15

Final Thoughts

I know that’s a pretty significant number. I only wish if someone had told me this. Ever since then, I’m sharing this with every student I’m meeting. I can proudly say the success rate is tremendous! Almost 90% of them have been able to land interviews. I feel so proud of them when they share their experiences. 🥳

Please please always do your research about the company before the career fair. This shows you know what you are looking for. You are very clear about your goals. This also helps cut the conversation short, and you to be able to focus on other things.👀

For students looking for sponsorship --- I know situation is not as favorable. You still need to ASK for it. At career fair, they’ll tell you that they don’t sponsor visas. But trust me, they’ll hire you and sponsor if they like your creds. Take that chance! 😇

If you are looking for associate level positions, but you see only senior roles open on the website, *APPLY**. If they like you, they will create a new position for you!! Says my personal experience!! 😎*

Signing off with the hope that this will help you if you are looking for a job. Know of any student in a university? Please forward this article to them. 😀

Message screenshot of someone who texted me about how my tips helped with their job search