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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Tips For Career Fair Success

Top tips to prepare you for the USC Career Fair tomorrow.

Rain or shine, the semi-annual USC Career Fair is scheduled to take place tomorrow, September 17th, on Trousdale Parkway. With over 160 companies present, making a good impression on employers is vital. Jason Wall, Director of the Career Fair, shared some tips that will maximize your success when talking with recruiters.

The three most important things to do for the Career Fair, according to Wall, are to dress for success, bring your resume and to do your research beforehand (now there’s a USC Careers by Symplicity app to help). With so many companies, you won’t have time to talk to every one so Wall suggests targeting 10 and researching them on the app.

Wall also says it’s important to be confident and show recruiters you are ready to be part of their team. In addition, the Director says don’t ask about salary, you can save that for the job interview. He also recommends making sure your resume is no longer than one page and to not ask obvious questions.

Lastly, don’t forget to ask for the recruiter’s business card so you can follow up with a ‘Thank You’ email after. These are the main takeaways, but here are a few more tips from the Career Center team to help you strive towards landing a job:

1.     Elevator Pitch: Stand out from other candidates by telling the employer your top skills. Practice makes perfect.  It should be 30 seconds or less.

2.     Tailor Your Resume: Your resume should detail the experience you bring up in your elevator pitch. Make sure it matches the job description the company is hiring for and highlights your strengths.

3.     Be Confident: Make eye contact and use a firm handshake to show the employer you’re professional.

4.     Communicate: This is the #1 trait employers look for, so don’t be afraid to talk about your skills and ask questions.

5.     Ask for their Business Card: Thank the recruiter for chatting with you and ask for their contact information.

6.     Follow Up: After the Career Fair, send the recruiter a ‘Thank You’ email for taking the time to speak with you and mention something you talked about to make it personal.

7.     Update your LinkedIn: When evaluating a candidate, most recruiters search for applicant’s social media profiles. Use a professional headshot, and avoid gaps in your timeline, to maintain a consistent image.

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