Every year there is a ton of hype surrounding the “Superbowl of College Recruiting.” A lot of students are able to secure full-time jobs and internships at Business Horizons, and even more get interviews. The idea of receiving an offer because of Business Horizons is incredibly exciting because you have the security of knowing your next steps with over eight months left in the school year.
This prospect encourages a lot of students to take the time and effort to prepare for this event. This may involve attending resume workshops, practicing your elevator pitch, and/or researching the companies you plan to speak to at the career fair. The day of, you spend hours walking around Squires Commonwealth Ballroom, conversing with recruiters and handing them your finely-tuned resume. After endless, “Make sure to apply online,” and “We are only looking to hire juniors and seniors,” speeches, you may come out not feeling as confident as you did when you went in. So, what are your next steps if Business Horizons doesn’t go as planned?
1. Look for open positions on the web. It can be very frustrating when recruiters tell you to apply online. You didn’t get all dressed up and rehearse your elevator pitch countless times just to be told you could’ve applied for the job from the comfort of your bed! Although you are handing recruiters your resume, odds are, hundreds of other students also handed in theirs. You need to apply online so that the company knows that you’re interested, and it will be another opportunity for them to see your name and qualifications.
2. Make connections on LinkedIn! If you remember a person’s name that you talked to at Business Horizons or a networking event, send them an invitation to connect on LinkedIn and a quick message about how you enjoyed chatting with them. Recruiters are constantly navigating LinkedIn in hopes of finding the right people to work for their company. If he/she finds your LinkedIn profile and sees that you have connections within that company, it can be another way to showcase your interest. Plus, if you still want to join that company in the future, you already have a contact that you can reach out to. For tips on how to strengthen your profile, check out this article!
3. Be open to other opportunities. Even if Business Horizons did not go exactly how you wanted, there are still so many other recruiting events throughout the school year. Just one example is the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department’s very own career fair, CareerScope, today! Even if you are not a Hospitality and Tourism major, it is never a bad idea to get your face in front of recruiters. Keep your eye out for upcoming recruiting events on campus. Your future self will thank you for all of the connections you were able to add to your professional network.
4. Do not be discouraged! It can be incredibly frustrating to hear about students who have gotten offers and interviews from Business Horizons if you did not. If this is the case for you, challenge yourself to new opportunities that will help build up your skills and experience. Step up and get more leadership experience in the organizations you’re involved in or reach out to a professor and ask about opportunities on campus that pertain to your career goals. Also, keep applying online! While it may seem like a lot of companies came to Business Horizons, there are so many more out there! Look on hiring websites like Handshake and Indeed to look for other opportunities that interest you. You already took a fantastic first step by putting yourself out there and networking at the career fair, so do not set yourself back by giving up!
I want to emphasize that it is not the end of the world if you did not receive an offer or interview from Business Horizons. Yes, career fairs are supposed to assist in the internship and job search. However, they can also serve as important learning tools. If a recruiter told you that you needed more experience, look for opportunities that will beef up your resume. If you are a sophomore and a recruiter told you they were only looking to hire juniors, add them on LinkedIn and reach out next year. Use Business Horizons to grow and become an even stronger candidate in the future!