Preparing for Success: Career Opportunity Fair Tom Colosimo November 6, 2013 The Career Opportunity Fair, hosted by the Graduate Business Career Services Department, will provide direct access to more than 40 employers for undergraduate and graduate level business students at the University of St. Thomas. These recruiters are seeking top talent from UST for internship and full time positions. Tom Colosimo, Career Coach Specialist, details the best way to ace any Career Fair, but most importantly the Career Opportunity Fair, held next week in the Law School Schulze Grand Atrium on Friday, November 15th.Prepping for a career fair can be nerve-racking and frustrating but it certainly does not need to be and it is very important. If you go into a career fair prepared and with the right attitude information you should do well. It’s all about knowing what you want, what they need, and creating your story to align to these variables. Many people go into a career fair with little or no preparation and come out thinking it was a waste of time.The key elements to remember are:Know what companies are going to be participating in the fairKnow the companies that you are most interested in; focus on your top 5Research these companies – know their current activities and productsKnow what initiatives they may have for the futureGet a handle on how your skills and experience align to their needs Appearance is important for your brand and for that first impressionBe sure to have the ‘look of business’ that means businessSuite and tie for men and a nice dress suite for womenError on the side of dressing conservatively; no wild colors or short skirts!Do not overdo the colognes and perfumes; a nice scent is welcome but don’t overpower your environment and chase people away from you!Smile! It can mean so much when meeting peopleBe genuine from hand-shake to tone of your voicePractice your pitch so that it’s natural when you are delivering it to the recruitersWhen you arrive at the fair, survey the flow of the attendees and be sure to identify where your companies are located right away. Start out by approaching companies that you may not know that much about and try your pitch on them to work out the kinks and get into your groove. Do not approach your top companies right away since you may not be at ease yet. Practice makes perfect.If you get the business card of the recruiter or company contact, connect with them and thank them for the time they took to chat with you reminding them about your skills and interest in their company and WHY! Reach out on LinkedIn for that connection as well. Many recruiters spend much of their time on social media looking for that next candidate. With that in mind, make sure your LinkedIn profile sends the right message about your focus to solidify your brand. Have fun with it. Be yourself and be on your game!To register for the Career Opportunity Fair, click here.