From our experience running booths at college and university job fairs, there is a simple sure-fire way to attract and recruit IT and IS students to your booth.
Include the word “technologies” or “technology” in your company name or in big wording on your display materials.
The funny thing is, Vibrant generally doesn’t go to college career fairs to recruit IS graduates, because we require several years experience in the field before we consider a systems engineer candidate (we’re looking for entry-level sales and customer service).
Regardless, the IT students and electrical engineering majors see the word “technologies” in our company name and introduce themselves almost every time. We certainly hope someday they’ll be our clients, but it’s difficult to explain that we don’t have an immediate opportunity for them.
So, if you’re an IT exec, in-house recruiter or independent recruiter looking for new blood from the college ranks, you might want to send some cards and materials to an exhibiting reseller. If you’re interested in Midwest students, we would surely be happy to hand those out to the plethora of IT students that drop by our college job fair booth.
Here are a few more tips for running a college career fair booth:
1) Stand in front of your booth. This is another pretty simple tip, but it really works. It’s easy to hide behind a table, but you’re more approachable if you don’t. The concrete floors and cheap carpet of exhibit halls will leave your knees and back begging you to sit down, but don’t give in!
2) Give away fun stuff. It creates a conversation starter and will get some people to your booth that won’t otherwise. Candy is a staple, as are pens. At our last career fair, we gave away big inflatable bats (we were hiring sales people and “looking for a few big hitters”). Every once and a while I would take a walk around the fair with one over my shoulder and scores of students wanted to know where they could get one. There are endless giveaways for tech types, too.
3) Bring lots of water. If your booth is a success, you’ll be talking all day and you will get parched (lip balm?).
4) Try to set up next to the big corporations (if you aren’t one). You’ll get tons of overflow traffic from the students who have lined up to hand their resumes in to the corporate black hole (err… on-file resume collection).
Good luck, and again, contact me (corey at vibrant dot com) if we can refer any IS students your way.