This past week was Global Entrepreneurship Week and on November 14th, Telfer hosted the uOttawa Startup Career Fair in the lobby of Desmarais. This career fair was not like Telfer Connects or Telfer Networks, there was a business casual tone and it made it a fantastic opportunity for those that were not used to networking in a formal setting.
Having attended the event myself, here are my four takeaways from the Startup Career Fair:
1) Do your research
Many of the companies at the Startup Career Fair have of course not been around for very long. You may not be familiar with them, so it is important that you do your research. This applies to any career fair; know which companies will be there, what they do and what positions they hire for.
2) Have a goal
Networking does not come easy, especially in the beginning. You are not obliged to speak to every company at the career fair. Set a goal for yourself of how many professionals you want to speak with. If you feel confident once you reach your goal, continue learning about the other companies and building relationships!
3) Ask questions
Encourage the conversation by asking questions and show that you have done your research. For example, you could say “I was looking at your website and I noticed that you are starting a new initiative. Could you tell me more about that?” Invest yourself in the conversation!
Finally, you may have heard this before, but it is important to repeat: smile and be yourself! Recruiters are looking to get to know who you are, let that be the emphasis.
Put these takeaways to action at Telfer’s next career fair, Telfer Networks. If you feel you need to improve your networking or you just do not know where to start, register for the Making a Good First Impression Workshop in January, or the monthly Networking 101 Clinics.