Recent Searches

Loading Search Results...
Loading Directory Results...



Recent Pages

Recent Searches

EIU Career Services

Tips to make the Career Fair a Success!

Career Fairs are great opportunities for you to showcase your skills and talents. Network with hundreds of employers to gather career info, land interviews & make contacts for future job offers. First impressions count---so be prepared!  

View our workshops to help you get prepared!!


View the list of employers attending the event. 

  • Prioritize the ones you want to speak with the most.
  • RESEARCH!! Know about the employers before you talk to them-it will make a HUGE difference.
  • Search the employers' websites for info.
  • Here is what to look for: what are their main products and services
  • who are their competitors
  • have they had new innovations or ventures recently
  • any new awards
  • look at financial reports - see how company is performing    

Expand your focus.

  • Approach employers even though they appear unrelated to your major.
  • Technical companies offer non-technical positions, and vice-versa.
  • A technical company may have openings in human resources, marketing, public relations or accounting.
  • Employers do look for candidates with a strong liberal arts background and internship experience.
  • Don't limit yourself. This is a perfect opportunity to explore and learn about what opportunities are available for you.

Prepare your resume. 

  • Use good quality resume paper (resume paper is for sale at Career Services).
  • Review our Resume Section for tips and samples.
  • Have your resume critiqued by a Career Services professional, if time allows. Attend a Resume Start-Up or Resume Critique Blitz before the Career Fair. Individual appointments also available---but these fill up fast! You can also drop off a copy of your resume for quick review, please allow at least 48 hours for review.
  • Make sure your resume has your current telephone number and e-mail address. 
  • Make your resume clear & concise. Remember, an employer will typically only spend 20-30 seconds reading your resume. 
  • PROOFREAD!! Typos and spelling errors are big turn-offs to employers.
  • You will need approximately 25-30 copies of your resume, depending upon how many employers you will approach. Keep them in a folder or portfolio at the event.
  • If you have a 2-page resume, staple pages together. No paperclips.
  • You will NOT need a cover letter.

Prepare your "30 second Infomercial"

  • You will only have a few minutes with each recruiter--impress them quickly!
  • Communicate your purpose. If you are looking for a job, state the type of position that interests you. If you are gathering career information, tell employers you are exploring career options and are interesting in learning about them.
  • In your introduction, include your major, year in school, relevant work experience, career interests, activities, skills & strengths.
  • Tailor your introduction to each employer based on your research. Articulate how you are a good fit for the employer.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your resume. 
  • Share basic information about yourself and your career interests. 
  • Maintain good eye contact and offer a firm handshake before & after meeting them.
  • PRACTICE with a friend or in front of a mirror. You will project confidence if you are comfortable with what you are saying.

Prepare questions to ask.

  • Questions will depend upon your career goals.
  • Are you interested in finding out about a particular career field? Then ask generalized questions about working within the industry.
  • If you're seeking career opportunities, focus your questions on the application and interview process, and as for specific information about that employer.
  • Sample questions What entry-level positions in (your career interest) are available with your organization?
  • What skills are needed to be successful in this field?
  • What types of training are provided and how are they structured?
  • Are summer jobs or internships available?
  • How would you describe a typical day at work?
  • How does the organization compare with/differ from its competitors?
  • What advice would you give me if I wanted to break into this field?

Dress Professionally!!

If you want to be taken seriously--dress seriously! Employers will make decisions based on first impressions. Professional dress


  • Neutral-colored suit (black, dark gray or navy blue) with a knee-length skirt or pants and a tailored blouse
  • Basic pumps with 1"-2" heels. NO clunky heels, sneakers or strappy sandals
  • Minimize cologne and jewelry
  • Have neat hair, shoes, nails and teeth



  • A two-piece suit in navy or other dark color.
  • A tie with a simple pattern
  • Polished dress shoes
  • Minimize cologne or after-shave
  • Very trimmed facial hair
  • Have neat hair, shoes, nails and teeth

After the Fair

  • Follow-up with employers that you are interested in.
  • Remember to ask for business cards from all recruiters that you speak with.
  • Send a thank-you note via email within 24 hours and include your resume.
  • Check with Career Services for On-Campus Interviews.
  • Monitor the employers' websites for application procedures.

Do's and Don'ts

  • DO arrive early!
  • DO dress professionally!  It is what recruiters expect to see.
  • DO smile and shake hands in confident manner.  Maintain eye contact.
  • DO network with employers even if they do not have a potential place for you at this time.
  • DO schedule your time effectively.  Most students need 1-2 hours at a career fair.
  • DO sell yourself!  Be positive and enthusiastic.
  • DO collect business cards or contact information.
  • DO check with employers and Career Services about upcoming campus interviews.
  • DO send thank you notes to all employers of interest.


  • DON'T take anyone with you who isn't looking for a job.
  • DON'T travel in groups with your friends. Go it alone!
  • DON'T carry your coat or backpack. Coatracks will be provided.
  • DON'T wait until late in the afternoon to attend.
  • DON'T say anything negative. You never know who will be listening.
  • DON'T stand around and talk to your friends about the latest gossip.
  • DON'T just grab all of the freebies.
  • DON'T ignore the networking opportunities. There may be other "hidden" opportunities. Ask and find out.
  • DON'T just drop off your resume at a recruiter's table. If they are not at the table--come back later.
  • DON'T ask about salary.
  • DON'T forget to do your research.
  • DON'T dress like you just came from the gym. It's better to be over-dressed than under-dressed.
  • DON'T be too casual in front of the recruiter.
  • DON'T bring food or drink to the table and do not have gum or candy in your mouth.
  • DON'T forget to send a thank you letter to your top prospects.

Related Pages

Contact Information



Career Services

Eastern Illinois University
1301 Human Services
Charleston, IL 61920

Take the next step

apply now
schedule a visit