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.
- 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.
Resume Critique Options
For a quick critique, bring your resume to Daytime Drop-Ins.
For a more in-depth resume review, schedule an appointment with your Career Center advisor.
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.
- Demonstrate confidence: make eye contact, give a firm hand shake and 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.
• What specific skills or personal characteristics do you believe are important for successful performance in this position?
• What are the things you like most/least about working here?
• What qualifications are most important to a person's advancement within your company?
• What type(s) of training programs will be made available to me as a new employee?
• What do you consider to be the biggest challenge(s) I would face if I am hired?
• What would a typical day be like?
• Why are you looking to fill this position? Is it a newly created position?
• What would be the measurements for my success in this position?
• What is your vision for your department over the next two to three years?
• What are your organizational values?
• How would you describe your organizational culture?
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.
- 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.
- 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 Career Center website.
View this list as a Printable (PDF)