Should I Attend the Career Fair as a Freshman?

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September 20, 2021 by

What is the fall career fair? Is it like “career day” in elementary school, and your dad came in and spoke about his riveting office job and handed out candy? While some tables and booths might have candy, the Career Fair at Cedarville is much different than that!

The Career Fair brings in over 100 different employers from nonprofits, organizations, and businesses to Cedarville, giving students opportunities to interact with companies and practice professional networking skills. Cedarville wants to set students up for success by bringing possible employers to campus for at least one day a semester. This makes it easy and accessible to students to be able to make professional connections that could possibly lead to internships or full-time job offers!

 

Why should I go to a Career Fair?

Let’s say you are a freshman during your first semester at Cedarville (woo!). You just started your 1,000 days, so why do you have to worry about getting a job or an internship? This was my mindset as the fall career fair was approaching during my freshman year. Long story short, I ended up passing it up. I also missed the spring career fair. Don’t be like me! I look back and wish I had attended those early fairs. 

One word: networking!

It is never too early to begin practicing talking with employers and gathering information about different companies you may be interested in interning with or working for in the future. The goal of the Career Fair is to prepare you for professional success in the near or far future!

Pro tip: Grab a friend and head to the career fair together! My friend and I went to our first career fair together, my sophomore year, which made it a more relaxing, fun experience. It can be overwhelming and nerve wracking to walk into the field house alone and see booths of employers standing and waiting for you to walk by. Having a friend to go with you will calm some of those fears and give you confidence to be able to approach the booths together.   

 

What should I wear?

My freshman year – when I missed out on the career fairs – I used two excuses that could have been easily fixed: I did not own any professional clothing, and I did not have a resume.

To address that first excuse, all of high school and into college, I was the girl who would much rather wear a pair of sweatpants and matching sweatshirt rather than a cute dress. I owned about one pair of non-denim pants and less than a handful of shirts without words on them. While I laugh about it now, I wish I had come into college with one professional outfit to be used for speeches, presentations, and, oh yes, the career fairs! This could look like a button up or blouse, pants, and dressy shoes. For the ladies, a black skirt with a blouse or jacket or a nice dress are also some great business casual options that you probably have on hand. Shoutout to my friend’s closets for providing me with my outfit for my first career fair, sophomore year! 

Pro tip: You do not have to break the bank on professional clothes! You can definitely rock the Career Fair in style while also balling on a budget! Most of my “career fair” clothes are found at thrift shops around the Cedarville area such as Valley Thrift and Plato’s Closet!

 

What resources can help me prepare for a Career Fair?

Need a resume to attend the Career Fair, but you don’t have much employment experience or just don’t know where to start? Head over to the Career Services office! Career Services is the place to go when you find yourself needing professional help with your resume, linked in, and interview preparation for the upcoming Career Fair. Before my first Career Fair, I made an appointment with Career Services to help me write and format my resume. I had no idea where to start or what employers look for, and I am so grateful for the constructive feedback and resume building tips they gave and continue to give me.

See the Career Services website or visit them in their office in the Stevens Student Center to find information about resume building, interview preparation, how to use LinkedIn to find jobs and internships, and much more!

The 2021 fall career fair will be held on October 6th, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Doden Field House. 

You are now Career Fair ready! Can’t wait to see you there!

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