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?
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.