With the Dec. 8  Back to Business Career & Transfer Fair approaching, Springfield Technical Community College’s Workforce Development Center is providing helpful tips for students to succeed and impress.

In a video recorded Nov. 23, 2021, Gloryvee Diaz, internship and career services coordinator with the Workforce Development Center, began by emphasizing the importance of preparation. She said students should build a portfolio/three-ring binder that includes multiple copies of resumes, cover letters and references. Students also should include any certificates or awards they might have received recently, especially if they are related to the employer they’re trying to impress.

Think about going to the job fair as if you’re going to a job interview, she said.

“Just because it’s a job fair doesn’t mean the employer doesn’t look at you like a regular candidate,” Diaz said. “They actually sometimes hire right at the job fair.”

Students should research companies online before going to the job fair. They should know what they do and why the do it. Typically, the information is found on a company’s website under “about us.” A career fair attendee should know the mission and vision of the company they are interested in, she explained

“Knowing that information gives you that special touch,” Diaz said. “The employer will look at you in a different light.”

In addition, students should look at the company’s social media before going to the career fair. A recent fundraiser or other news mentioned by the company would help you stand out if you bring it up with the employer.

Diaz described a career fair from an employer’s perspective. Employers at the fair will be scanning the room.

“They’re going to look around and say, ‘These candidates are great. They’re professional. They look the part. They are becoming the part by obtaining their education at STCC,’” Diaz said. “They are going to be interviewing you in a sense and asking you about yourself.”

When students talk to employers, they should introduce themselves and offer a “60-second commercial.” That means students should describe their own interests and share their knowledge of the company. Let them know that you want to become a part of their team, Diaz said.

At the fair, students should save their “top company” for last. That way, you can talk to companies you might not be as interested in and sharpen your “60-second commercial.”

Diaz wrapped up the video by emphasizing the importance of networking. Meet as many people as you can at the fair. Make long lasting impressions that will help you stand out, she said.

“Have fun, embrace it,” Diaz said. “Learn about the company. There will be more job fairs. There will be more interviews coming in the near future for you as you graduate from STCC.”

Click here to register for the career and transfer fair and find more information.