Career Fairs provide an excellent opportunity to expand your job search and begin to develop a network of professional contacts. Participation in Career Fairs is most beneficial when you are well prepared to market yourself and interact effectively with recruiters.
Before the Fair
- Review your skills, interests, values, experiences, and accomplishments to articulate what you have to offer to a prospective employer. This also helps you determine which employers and career opportunities you wish to spend time pursuing at the Career Fair.
- Think outside your major! Though companies may list majors they prefer, many recruiters are interested in students with all majors.
- Learn about the world of work and the career you are interested in prior to attending the fair.
- Research, informational interviews, and networking will familiarize you with career fields.
Polish Your Resume
- Start writing your resume as soon as possible so that by the Career Fair date you have a final draft prepared that will showcase your qualifications.
- Your resume is your personal marketing tool and should include your education, relevant experience, volunteer and internship experience, honors, activities, special skills and accomplishments.
Researching an OrganizationCheck out our Resume Writing Guide for additional help on preparing your resume!
- With 50 employers attending the Career Fair, it will be impossible for you to meet representatives from each organization.
- Review the list of companies attending, and prioritize those you are most interested in meeting.
- Most recruiters will expect you to be familiar with their organization, so research each company of interest, including their products, services, clients, locations, competitors and organizational mission.
- Check frequently to see the growing list of participating employers and links to their respective websites.
- Dress as you would for a formal interview.
- Women should consider a professional-looking skirt/blouse or pants "suit".
- Men can wear a suit and tie or a jacket; however, a collared, buttoned shirt/tie and slacks are acceptable.
- Conservative colors, accessories, and appearance are advisable.
Visit the Student Success Center Professional Attire Pinterest Board to see more examples.
At the Fair
Impress the Recruiter
- On the day of the fair, greet each recruiter with a firm handshake, eye contact, and smile.
- Address the recruiter as Mr., Ms., or Dr.; refer to their name tags.
- Introduce yourself, offering your name, major, and date of graduation.
- Present your resume and tell the recruiter your purpose for wanting to meet with him/her today.
- Speak with confidence.
- Have questions ready for the recruiter and use information you get to sell yourself.
- Take notes - this can help you remember highlights.
- Let the recruiters talk and ask questions about you - pay attention, be repsonsive, and incldue relevant qualifications and company information.
- This is your opportunity to not only sell yourself and your knowledge of the company, but also to allow the recruiter to talk about their employment needs.
Wrap-Up the Conversation
- Try to secure an interview.
- Ask about next steps including the best way to follow-up and a timeline.
- Don't forget to ask for the recruiter's business card and pick up any available literature.
- Thank the recruiter for his/her time, and offer another firm handshake as you depart.
After the Fair
- Write or email personalized "thank you" letters.
- Remind the recruiter of something they told you while at the fair.
- Reiterate your interest in the company and highlight your qualifications.