Best Practices for Approaching Company Representatives at Job Fairs and Other Networking Events 

By Caroline Morelock

A great way to find information regarding potential internship opportunities is to attend networking events offered on campus throughout the year such as job fairs and alumni panels. However, it can sometimes be nerve wracking to approach company representatives. Below are some tips to hopefully make this process a little easier and to make these networking events work to your advantage.

An enthusiastic introduction

Starting off with a strong introduction can clear the path for a productive conversation to follow between you and the company representative. Greet them with a strong handshake, eye contact, and introduce yourself by clearly stating your name so they remember it.

Engage in conversation

After meeting a company representative, do not just hand her your resume and walk away. Your conversation should be memorable to help you stand out from the other attendees. These types of events are great because they give you the opportunity to show the representative who you are without the stress and formality of an interview setting.

With that being said, remember to research the companies in attendance before the event. This background knowledge about the company will give you insight on how you would fit well within the company’s culture. Once you know more about the company, it can act as a guide for conversation. Talking points can include why you are interested in the company, its most recent accomplishment, and how you would enjoy the work there. You can also prepare questions about the company and its expectations, the representative or the interested position.

Ask for a business card

When closing the conversation, leave them with your resume and ask for their business card. By having their business card this means that you will have their contact information to send a follow-up email thanking them for their time. Following up with the company representative is important because it reinforces your interest in the company and lets them know you look forward to hearing from them.

These few steps can help lead you to finding your perfect internship!

For more information, especially for the shy person: http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/professional-networking/networking-tips-for-shy-people-hot-jobs/article.aspx http://www.careerealism.com/network-tips-shy/

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