Career Fair

Tips for Success

Before the Fair: Research and Prepare

  • Be ready to make the most of your short time with an employer.
  • Practice introducing yourself, including background and strengths significant to the prospective employer.
  • Know your skills and the type of jobs you seek.
  • Research job opportunities at participating companies/organizations' websites and prepare a targeted list of questions.
  • Prepare to present yourself as a problem solver and solution provider specific to the company's needs.
  • Gather your employment history and list of three references (with their phone number, e-mail, company and title) so you are ready to complete an application.

During the Fair: Network and Promote Yourself

  • Wear interview attire. Dress professionally to make a good first impression.
  • Bring plenty of résumé copies on good-quality paper. Place your résumé copies, notepad, and pen in a portfolio or briefcase.
  • Make sure you are interested in the organization you're talking to rather than just the "goodies" they give out. If you take a promotional item, take only one.
  • Be ready to make the most of your short time with an employer.
  • Demonstrate your skills, strengths and academic or professional experience by providing concise examples.
  • Smile frequently and naturally and let your enthusiasm show. Smile as you walk up to the recruiter, shake their hand, and make eye contact. Jumpstart the conversation with an introduction such as:
    - Hello my name is _______________.
    - I reviewed your web site and I am interested in ________________ position(s).
    - I have strengths in ____________________.
    - In ____________________ I'll graduate with a degree/certificate in _____________.
  • Visit several of your lower priority organizations first to practice your approach, your questions, and information-gathering techniques - then tackle those most important to you with greater confidence.
  • If you know what types of position(s) you're interested in, include this information in your introduction. If you don't know what type of position you want, provide the recruiter with information about your degree, courses taken, skills and experience so they can determine what position(s) might be suitable for you.
  • Speak with as many representatives as possible. This is your chance to network, meet a key person, and present your skills and interest in the organization - don't just drop off a résumé at their table.
  • Take notes on each of your contacts before moving to the next organization. Ask about next steps and how to follow up.
  • Gather company information and business cards to begin your professional network. Plan now to contact them again after the fair - to show your continued interest.

Questions to Ask at the Career Fair

  • I have many of the skills listed under your (TITLE OF POSITION) job. Are there any additional positions at (COMPANY NAME) where my skills would be a good match?
  • What skills do you find most marketable in your industry today?
  • What are the characteristics and skill sets you look for in an employee?
  • Is there an additional person in your company I could contact for an informational interview about my particular field?
  • Will you please describe your company's culture?
  • What are the most important things you look for in a résumé?

Your Conversation and the Information You Gather

  • Determines the first impression you make.
  • Provides the material needed for an impressive follow-up letter.
  • Prepares you for a successful follow-up conversation or interview.

After the Fair: Continue the Momentum

  • Follow up by letter and/or email if you are interested in creating an opportunity with the company.  Recent statistics prove 88% of hiring managers are influenced by receiving a thank you.
  • Tailor your letter, email, or call to the individual and the organization. Reiterate your interest and how your skills can benefit the organization and provide solutions. Contact them, send, or mail within 48 hours.