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How to Navigate a Career Fair

by: Smith and Howard

August 20, 2018

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Recruiting season is here which means accounting firms are gearing up to attend college career fairs. This fall Smith & Howard will be visiting the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Georgia College, Georgia Southern, North Georgia, and Kennesaw State University searching for the best and brightest students who are looking to begin a career in public accounting.

The main objective of the career fair is to find top notch candidates to fill internships and full-time opportunities. Firms might also be looking for students to participate in their summer leadership programs, such as Smith & Howard’s Leadership Institute program that is held each July. Firms talk to a number of students at the career fair. How do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?

A student has 1-3 minutes to make a meaningful impression on a recruiter at a career fair. To make the most of this and make sure they remember you, keep these things in mind:

  • Elevator Pitch: Have a 1-minute speech about who you are and what you are looking to do.
  • Do your research: Research the companies that will be at the career fair before you go. Have questions prepared to ask that show you are familiar with their company and what they do.
  • Handshake: Use a firm handshake.
  • Confidence: Be confident.
  • Dress: Dress professional. You only get one first impression.
  • Show interest: I want candidates that seem interested in our firm and what we do.
  • Be prepared to talk: Initiate the conversation with your Elevator Pitch and be prepared to participate in the conversation.
  • Resume: Have an easy to read resume to provide to the recruiter. Do not make the recruiter ask for a copy. Don’t be afraid to point out highly relevant items to the recruiter as you talk to them.
  • Network: Take business cards from people you speak with and follow up with a quick thank you email. If you have met individuals from the firm previously, feel free to name drop. That gives the recruiter someone else internally to talk to about you and your skills.

Lastly, be yourself. You are trying to find the company that is the best fit for you. If you have to be someone you aren’t each day at work, you will not enjoy your working life.

We hope that our tips are helpful and we hope to see you at the Smith & Howard career fair booth this fall.

How can we help?

If you have any questions and would like to connect with a team member please call 404-874-6244 or contact an advisor below.

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