Attracting Attention at Career Fairs

1. Job Interests and Qualifications

  • Be able to express your qualifications including strengths, academic preparation, related experiences, and skills (i.e.: communication, technical, leadership).
  • Prepare a 30 second elevator pitch that highlights what you can do, not what the prospective employer can do for you.

2.  Resumes

  • Attend a CES Resume Building Workshop and/or Resume Critique Session.
  • Schedule an appointment with your career advisor for a resume critique.
  • Bring multiple copies of your resume (on resume paper) to the fair. Print enough for all the employers you plan to visit plus extras.
  • Consider having your own business card which includes your degree, date of graduation, contact information, and university name.

3. Research Companies

Researching the organizations will show Recruiters you are hard-working, eager, dedicated and goal-oriented. You can also better manage your time by prioritizing those you visit at the fair.

  • Review the list of participating employers at the fair.
  • Review websites of companies you plan to visit.
  • Go to Hale Library for annual reports, and assistance with online researching.
  • Ask Faculty about the organizations and alumni working there.

4. Time and Day-of Plans

  • Study the floor plan available in the student booklet you'll receive when you check-in.
  • Arrive early and plan to stay at least two hours, longer if possible.
  • Plan your time and try to avoid long lines.

5. Appearance

  • Demonstrate confidence: make eye contact, give a firm hand shake, smile!
  • Dress professionally, but comfortably enough to move easily throughout the fair.
  • Visit the Student Registration booth to obtain a name tag and information packet.

6. Communicate with Employers

  • Find out what you can do to be considered, get more information, and arrange an interview or secure an on-site visit.
  • Reveal information in a give and take fashion (PDF). Identify employers' needs and then match your skills to those needs.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Prepare a few questions in advance to add to the conversation.

7. Record Information

  • Make notes after each stop at the fair on the information you gain, especially their follow-up and interview plans.
  • Pick up business cards and firm literature.

8. Follow-up

  • Recruiters like to know that you are interested. Write a follow-up note as soon as possible expressing interest.
  • If you missed a company, drop a note to express interest. Include your resume.

9. Interviews

  • Companies participate in fairs to identify prospective candidates for intern, co-op and career positions. They usually follow-up on their leads. Many participate in next-day interviews the day after a career fair.
  • You can prepare for interviews by visiting the Interviews portion of the CES website.

View this list as a Printable (PDF)