Career Fair Prep
To make the most out of the career fairs have your resume reviewed ahead of time and visit your career coach at Career Services for any additional questions and advice. This information is available in pdf format: Career Fair Success guide.
Career fairs are useful whether you are a freshman or a PhD candidate, sure of your academic major or not
Attend Career Fair to:
- Explore different career fields by visiting with employers from all types of agencies and organizations -- in one place at one time.
- Talk with recruiters about the variety of career paths available.
- Gain insights from employers about obtaining an internship or career position with them.
- Find out how to apply for open positions and schedule on-campus interviews the next day.
- Expand your network of employer contacts.
Six Steps to Career Fair Success
Step 1 - Research Organizations
Step 2 - Prepare your Resume
Step 3 - Dress for Success
Step 4 - Prepare your Approach & Introduction
Name badges are available at the entrance to the Fair and employers prefer seeing your name, major, and graduation date before you even begin talking with them!
Employers expect you to walk up and introduce yourself. This may feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice you will get used to doing it and doing it well! Remember, recruiters are at the Fair to meet you so follow these steps:
- Visit the organizations you are most interested in first and as early in the day as possible. If the booth is busy, move on to another recruiter and come back later.
- Smile, make eye contact, offer your hand, and introduce yourself. A good firm handshake and eye contact shows confidence.
- Provide a 30-second introduction which includes the degree you are pursuing, your major, and what type of opportunity you are looking for.
EXAMPLE: “Hello, my name is Jon; it is very nice to meet you. I am a senior working on a BS in English with experience and coursework in Technical Writing. I would like to know how I might use these skills within your organization as an intern.”Be personable and keep your interaction brief but effective. Don't forget to ask what your next step should be in the application process.
- Ask if you can give them a resume! Some employers will suggest that you “just visit our web site to apply” and will not accept a resume. The value of meeting a company recruiter face-to-face comes later in the follow-up phase.
- Thank the recruiter for the information they provided and shake their hand. Ask for a business card in order to follow-up.
Step 5 - Ask Questions
The process of researching organizations will likely make you think of questions you would like to ask recruiters when you meet them at the Fair. These can include:
- What majors would best prepare me to work with your organization?
- How do I apply for internships/career positions?
- What skills are you most interested in seeing in a candidate?
- What kinds of additional skills or experiences would set me apart from other candidates?
- If the organization’s recruiter is staying the next day to hold interviews, be prepared to ask for an interview.
Step 6 - Follow-up
Here is where having a recruiter contact really pays off. Apply online AND send the recruiter an email letting them know that you completed the application while attaching a copy of your resume to the email. This allows the recruiter to potentially pull your application and/or send a message to the appropriate department encouraging them to look at your application. Additionally, as you gain new skills, obtain internship experience, perform undergraduate research, expand leadership skills, etc. you have a reason to reach out to keep that contact excited about you as a potential intern or career employee.