Job Fair Tips
Before the Fair:
Target employers that you'd like to meet with face to face and check their web sites for information about their products, services, and employment needs.
Prepare a great resume
Check out our Resume Writing Guide link.
Practice your presentation skills
You will want to demonstrate your knowledge of an organization you've researched. Prepare a one minute commercial of yourself, describing your major, the college you attend, the year you're in, related coursework (GPA), career interests, related activities and experience, and the type of position you are seeking. Be able to relate your background and future goals to the organization's needs.
Prepare questions to ask recruiters
Inquire about the recruiter’s name and position within the organization. Ask pertinent questions such as: What are you looking for in new hires? Do you offer formal training programs? What are the key skills and experiences that you highly seek from applicants? How would I find out more about entry level positions in _________. What is the nature of the job market in this field? -OR- I am interested in pursuing a summer job or internship in the field of ______. What kinds of assignments does your organization give to summer employees or interns?
Day of the Fair:
Dress conservatively and professionally as you would for a job interview.
Positive first impressions are critical. Avoid excessive jewelry and cologne.
Introduce yourself to employers with confidence, good eye contact, a firm handshake, and a smile. Present your background info and prepared questions as mentioned previously.
Bring your resume
Bring multiple copies of your resume to distribute to those organizations that interest you. Inquire about application procedures and request a business card from each company representative of interest. Obtain other contact names within the organization if their work functions are more relevant to the opportunities you're seeking. Inquire about informational interviews with the rep or other organizational contacts who may be willing to speak to you about the careers you're exploring after the fair. See our online Informational Interview Guide.
Ask for a copy of company literature to further research an organization.
Take brief notes after each meeting regarding impressions about the employer, your job or internship prospects, follow-up strategies, etc.
After the Fair:
Follow-up is crucial
Recruiters are impressed with those who follow-up! You will stand out if you do, because many of the students who attend job fairs fail to do so. Even if you're not particularly interested in a company at this time, the contact and impression that you make may be beneficial in your future, as new jobs become available. Remember too, that recruiters change jobs as well and may in time represent an organization that you are interested in.
Remember the thank you note
Send a brief thank you note in a timely manner to individual representatives reiterating your special interest in their organization and the positions you had discussed. You may include a resume and/or clarify answers to specific questions asked during the fair.