How to prepare for Fanshawe's Career Opportunities Fair

A photo of the J Gym during a Career Fair. CREDIT: FANSHAWE COLLEGE
Fanshawe will hold its annual fall Career Opportunities Fair on Sept. 27.

On Sept. 27, Fanshawe College will be hosting its Career Opportunities Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Glen Johnston Athletic Centre. The J Gym in the Wellness and Fitness Centre will have over 150 companies offering employment opportunities in a variety of different industries. Students who are seeking job employment are encouraged to attend this event well-prepared for a successful day of networking.

Prior to the event, there are a few preparative steps that can help you make an impactful connection. Brigitte MacKinnon, Fanshawe Career Services Relations Representative said students can access the Employment and Student Entrepreneurial Services like Career Services, Co-operative Education, Leap Junction and Community Employment Services to help prepare for the event.

The Career Services department can assist with building your resume, which should highlight your work experience, school experience, any highlights of qualifications, as well as anything else that is relative to your field of work. If you’re a student who doesn’t have a resume, if you need help with making it look professional, or if you simply just want a pair of experienced eyes to look over it, consider visiting Career Services.

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If you’re in a co-operative program, you will have an assigned co-op consultant who you can directly reach out to for help with your resume, cover letters, interview prep, and more.

One of the recommendations from MacKinnon included students printing “many” copies of their resume for the day of to give to the employers.

After you have your resume sorted, another preparative step is organizing your apparel for the day. Researching your target industry in advance can give you good insight on how to dress. Fanshawe also has a program in place to help you dress for success.

“Students that don’t have access to business casual attire can use the Career Closet Services,” MacKinnon said. “All they have to do is come into Career Services in D1063 and they can borrow clothing.”

MacKinnon also mentioned that there will be a few racks of clothing at the fair itself that can be borrowed “right then and there.”

The next thing that can be quite critical to the success of a student’s networking activities is what’s known as their elevator pitch.

“[This means] having some knowledge about how to network with employers and initiate conversations, as well as how to answer interview questions,” MacKinnon said. “They will likely be asked on the spot interview questions or could be asked to attend an interview.”

Creating a script or having bullet points of what you think will increase your chances of obtaining a job with an employer can be a helpful tactic when it comes to your interactions at the fair.

When creating your script/bullet points, it’s a good idea to research the companies that are attending the event to find out a little bit about who they are, the services they provide, and other useful information to do with them. Students can access a list of the employers that are attending by logging into their MyFanshawe to a page called Career Opportunities Fair.

The last tip for preparing for the fair would be making sure your LinkedIn page is updated and professional for employers to view. Your LinkedIn page can be linked on your resume. Another way students can promote their LinkedIn is by creating a digital QR code that can be given to employers. Should students have issues doing this, the Careers Services department can help.

One of the general tips that MacKinnon gave included students attending the Career Services workshops throughout the year to help with the many factors that influence an employer extending a job offer. Secondly, MacKinnon reminded students that even the companies that might not be in your targeted industry will still be worth speaking to. A company in an entirely different field may need the services that you can offer even if they aren’t directly advertising that.

Something to keep in mind before attending the fair is that there is a registration system in place where students will need to show their student card to enter the gym.

This event can be extremely beneficial to anyone who is seeking employment. Whether full-time or part-time, having the opportunity to build connections should never be passed up on when looking to build up your network and meet employers.