You walk in suited up, shoes shined, and with your pad folio at hand. Another career fair.
Last week, as I met with a student, he asked, "What's the point of a career fair anyways? They always just tell you to apply online." I smiled and said, "Yeah... That's annoying, right?" I meant it. However, I believe in the power of meeting people.
Think about this: if you worked as a recruiter, and your internship posting received over 100 applications, what would you do? Chances are, next to your pile of 100+ applications you will find a smaller pile of 5-10. This smaller pile probably came to you from people you know and trust (i.e., referrals). If you worked as a recruiter, which would you review first?
That's the power of meeting people.
Do know that not every interaction at a career fair will result in an interview or offer. However, I strongly encourage you to believe in the power of meeting people. If you do attend a career fair, meet with a recruiter, and he/she asks you to apply online - go ahead. They may refer your application to the hiring manager, moving your application from the bigger pile to the smaller pile. Or, they may remember you down the line, in a few semesters or a few years, perhaps when you find yourself back on the market. You never know, so stand up straight, smile, and go meet people.
External Relations Assistant Director