All-University Career Fair survival guide

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Panoramic image of the Engineer Career Fair in Fiedler Hall on Feb. 8, 2017. (Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

Representatives from more than 300 companies, industries and agencies are coming to the All-University Career Fair this Tuesday – Thursday. With so many employers on the horizon, the Kansas State Career Center, students and employers offered up some tips of the trade for surviving the career fair.

Whether you’re a freshman first-time attendee or a senior looking for a foot in the door, we have you covered.

1. The basics

According to the Career Center website, students should wear professional dress, bring their student ID and multiple copies of their resume. Also, students are encouraged to attend the days corresponding to their major.

“One of the best things students can do is understand what the industry cultures are that they are interested in,” Kerri Day Keller, director of the K-State Career Center, said.

Keller said she advises students to search the Career Center website for more details about the Career Fair and to find certain employers in attendance.

2. The meetings

Several corresponding events take place next week along with the career fair, including informational meetings and interviews. Mayla Baez, K-State alum and JBS recruiter, said most of her time will be spent at informational meetings and looking for students in majors that correspond with her employer.

“I’m looking for students in food science, and I think the best way to engage with them might be actually visiting a food science R & D class,” Baez said. “Getting their opinions in a more intimate setting, I think is more beneficial for them and JBS.”

Jena Ernsting, senior in agricultural communications and journalism, shared some interview and meeting tactics she plans to use at the career fair.

“When walking into an interview, confidence is key,” Ernsting said. “Eye contact and being personable [and] professional are two important parts of advertising yourself.”

Ernsting said she recommends using an elevator pitch that K-State students learn in some sections COMM 105 and in similar classes.

3. Your appearance

According to the Career Center website, demonstrating confidence and eye contact are key components to appearance at the career fair.

“I have learned that just putting yourself out there is the most important thing — it’s kind of like dating,” Ernsting said. “If you don’t put yourself out there, the best version of yourself, nothing is going to happen.”

Additionally, the website advises students to take advantage of the Career Closet for professional dress. The Career Closet is a program that allows students to obtain business attire from a selection of clothing donated by faculty, staff and alumni as well as other professionals. The Career Closet, along with the rest of the Career Center, is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4. The K-State Family

Keller spoke of the Career Center as a “contribution to the K-State family” and advises students to explore the Career Center website for further insider tips and information about the All-University Career Fair.

“One of our insider tips for students at the career [fair] is when they look at a representative’s name tag with a Powercat on it, that means that person is K-State alumni,” Keller said. “I think that a lot of students can feel at ease knowing that there are other K-State grads there, and so many grads want students to feel welcome at the event.”

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News and Science Writer for the Collegian. Senior in Food Science with a Minor in Mass Communications from Topeka, Kansas. Graphic and Video Design. I cook … a lot.