4 Things to Consider When Job Searching at the Career Fair

RIT Career Fair with Blog Title banner

Resumé printing, suit buying, elevator pitch practicing...it must be career fair season. So with the fall career fair just around the corner, we thought we would bring you some of our best tips on what to consider when you’re deciding where to apply for potential jobs or co-ops. 

1.    Location

This may sound like an obvious one, and maybe as a college student, it's not the top of your priority list - you just want to get a job. We get it, but consider the fact that if you choose to relocate for your job, you will have to establish a whole new community, a whole new set of rhythms. Maybe that’s exactly what you’re looking for.

This can be an opportunity for you to try out living in a city that you’ve always dreamed of moving to. Or maybe you decide that for your first job or co-op you want to stay close to your friends and family. Whatever you decide, make sure you give it some thought because a job is so much more than just your 9-5 at the office. 

RIT Career Fair tables and students from above

2.    What Kind of Work You’ll be Doing

You want to ideally find a job where you will be working on projects that interest you, projects that you have a passion for. Working 8 hours a day at a job that you don’t care about will get tedious and it will be so hard to get yourself out of bed and to the office. 

How can you do that? Look at the company’s website. Do they have a portfolio of work they’ve developed? Do they have a list of companies they have worked with? Have you used their products or come in direct contact with their services? Even if the answer to all those questions is no, you can still talk to the recruiters or possibly some employees to get a feel for what kind of work they do to see if you could get on board.

While we’re on this topic - we thought we would give a shout out to our friends at SITO (Student IT Office). They are one of the groups directly involved with Tiger Center. If you’ve ever signed up for classes, checked your final grades, or really just been a student at RIT, you’ve probably encountered their site. So if you would like to check out opportunities to work with the SITO team and make a difference for students at RIT- visit their table at the career fair!

RIT students working on a computer

3.    Do You Mesh With the People

Probably one of the most overlooked parts of finding a job is remembering that the search extends both ways. Yes, you want a job, you want to be a part of a team, but that team is equally concerned with finding a member who fits well within their dynamic. 
So when you go to the career fair and talk to the recruiters or employees representing a business, make sure you pay attention to the chemistry. Yes, you’ll probably have some nervous jitters, but try to look past that and think if you could actually picture yourself working with the people at this company. If you can, try reaching out to some existing employees and talk to them about their work culture. Your work environment will be a crucial component of your success at your job/co-op so make sure you invest time into finding a good fit for your needs. 

RIT student at career fair talking to company representative

4.    Growth & Education Opportunities 
Education?! Isn’t that what you’re going to get a job to get away from? Well maybe, but hear us out. If you’re searching for a co-op or internship, try to see if you can find out if there is a possibility that you will then be asked to come back for a full time position. Companies love to brag about the interns that they converted into full-time employees, so see if you can find any information about this. Talk to other grads who have worked there - what was their experience like? After all, at the end of the day, your goal is to land a full time position post grad. 

Maybe you’re looking for that full-time job though, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking that maybe one day you would want to come back to school for a higher degree. There are companies that will sponsor further education of their employees, whether it be getting a master’s or gaining more education through professional development opportunities. At the end of the day, one of the only ways that you can stay relevant and continue to advance in your career is to become a lifelong learner, so try to look for companies that encourage it!

Tagged: career fair, fall career fair, rit tips