How to Prepare for Career Fairs

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For many of you it’s that busy time of year when you’ve taken over lead teaching and responsibilities seem to be piling up. It may be stressful but one thing you should not be stressing over is preparing for upcoming career fairs. Here are some tips to make that process a bit more seamless so you can focus on your teaching.

Who’s Coming

For the MSU Teacher Fair you can usually see who is coming as early as January of that year. Check the Handshake event web page for updates. A little insider scoop: this list is updating nearly every day. We are on track for a record number of districts this year (think nearly 200 districts)! Use this information to do your research on the schools ahead of time. Learn about their mission and philosophies to see how they align with your interests and career goals. This makes for great talking points at the fair.

What to Wear

Don’t freak out if you don’t have a suit, but do plan on looking as professional as possible at the career fair. Remember, attending a  fair is like a job interview – you want to dress better than you would during a regular day of work. Not sure what is appropriate? Always err on the side of looking more professional. Some kind of pant or skirt suit is most appropriate, but you could get away with a nice pair of dress pants and a blazer or a shirt and tie or even a skirt (of an appropriate length) and a nice sweater or blouse.

It doesn’t hurt to invest in a nice interviewing suit. Sometimes there are discounts available for college students or you could always check consignment shops for some possible options that won’t cost a fortune.

Check out MSUFCU’s What to Wear to an Interview guide for some visuals of what’s appropriate to wear to an interview or a career fair.

What to say to an Employer

Prepare your 30-second elevator speech or some talking points that will help you stand out from the other applicants. Check out this short video to put together your elevator speech.

For more information on how to communicate with districts at a career fair the a video of a former Teacher Fair Prep Session hosted by Houston IDS. It’s worth the watch: https://mediaspace.msu.edu/media/Teacher+Fair+Prep+Session/1_hook07eu

If you have any questions about how to prepare, be sure to ask your lead teacher (they have gone through this too), your field instructors, coordinators, or advisors (especially your career advisor) to help you feel more confident.

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