Tips for Career Fairs
Do Your Homework (Before You Go)
Explore the Career Fair’s website for event details and participant information. Whenever possible pre-register with the career fair and obtain the list of organizations attending the event
Decide which companies to visit.
Know the primary products/ function of the employer.
Visit the organization’s website and seek out pages that highlight products, services and programs.
Know the majors they hire.
Visit the Careers pages for the organizations that interest you.Seek out the positions they hire and the majors they seek.
Visit Indeed.com or Glossdoor.com or LinkedIn.com to research possible positions available.
Know the industry outlook.
Research industry journals, online resources.
Finish polishing your resume.
Review for keywords and accomplishments, check for typos and other spelling errors, and customize for each targeted organization (even if it is sth. as small as inserting the organization’s name into your job objective).
Print out extra copies of your standard resume to bring to the career fair
Prepare questions you want employers to answer.
Prepare your “cheat sheet” of notes on employers that interest you and questions you may want to ask. You have done your homework and do not want to miss any important points.
Create or review your elevator speech
Practice telling your story in 30 seconds or less. Identify who you are, what makes you unique, and the benefits you can provide or why you are a strong candidate and highlight your knowledge of the employer.
Register with the Career Center for on campus interviews.
First Impressions Are Lasting Impressions
Check your attire
Whenever possible, you should wear a well-fitting suit to career fairs.
For men, it means conservative shirt and tie, polished shoes, styled hair, and removal of jewelry from all visible piercings.
For women, it means a conservative suit (pants or skirt), shoes and pantyhose, styled hair, and removal of jewelry from visible piercings.
Make sure you have a professional portfolio or folder to keep your resumes and any notes organized. You can also use this to store business cards you receive at the fair.
A pen and paper to write additional notes the day of the fair.
The Day Of The Career Fair
Arrive early so that you have enough time to plan your strategy for visiting with the employers, check your appearance, get a quick drink of water and silence your phone.
Check your “cheat sheet” prior to visiting with each company to review the important points you found while doing your homework.
Meet with the employers, firmly shaking their hands, making eye contact and sharing your key points, including your knowledge of their organization and what you can contribute as a potential employee.
Answer questions, showcase your knowledge of each company, but also remember to ask questions so you’ll have a better understanding of which organizations are the best fit for you.
Ask about the organization’s recruiting timetable. Solicit information Ask about the organization’s recruiting timetable. Solicit information about the next step in about the next step in the process.
If you are considering relocating to a different state, once you’ve established rapport, ask the recruiter if you can obtain the name of the recruiter for that area. Better, ask the recruiter to forward your information to that other recruiter.
Don’t forget to collect business cards from each recruiter. And if you can’t get a business card, be sure to get all the contact information (including the correct spelling of each person’s name).
Take frequent breaks. Review your notes, plan any follow up actions and collect your notes for the next meeting.
After The Career Fair
Complete any follow up actions needed, such as sending thank you notes to each recruiter, thanking them for their time, interest, and help in your job--search, or contacting an additional representative if asked to do so.
Create your professional contacts list. Add the contact information you gathered at the fair into a database or spreadsheet to be used for future professional networking purposes. You can then use this to make connections through LinkedIn.
Reflect on your system, your execution, and your results. What might you have done more effectively? Make some initial plans for improvement before the next career.
Plan to follow up with each recruiter about two weeks after the career fair. Contact them and express your continued interest with the organization, your assurance of your ability to express your continued interest with the organization, and get more information about next steps in the process.