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The Hidden Value of Career Fairs for Employers

In the professional world, networking can be more significant than knowledge at times. Attending a Career Fair is a rite of passage for any college student looking to expand their network. This past semester, I planned to attend The University of Georgia’s Career Fair, where over 400 companies gather to recruit talent semi-annually.  The obvious purpose of employers’ attendance is to gain new hires. The lesser known value however, is marketing.

When I told my Academic Advisor I was interested in attending the Career Fair, she recommended I research the companies beforehand. This not only generates traffic to the employer’s website, but it increases my knowledge of their products and services regardless of whether the company has interest in me.

At the Career Fair, I chatted with over 20 companies and connected with representatives from each. These representatives are key to building a positive image of the company with each prospective employee. Very few of these students will end up working for the company, but each will leave with an opinion of them. These failed candidates still have value; they can transform into a customer and spread positive word-of-mouth. The reverse of this is possible as well, if you do not recognize the value of each candidate.

The only difference between Trade Shows and Career Fairs is intention. These events both attempt to generate interest in the given company. Free items are handed out and banners with the company’s logo are placed strategically. Everyone that interacts with your booth is useful and has potential to grow your company.

After participating in The University of Georgia’s Career Fair, I was left with an impression by each company I interacted with. My perspective had little to do with if the company wanted to hire me, but the professionalism, respect and value-proposition each company possessed.

 

This post courtesy of Intern Cori Lowenstein

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