What should I bring with me to the career fair?
- Multiple copies of your resume on professional resume paper
- A notepad and pen to use for jotting down notes
- A portfolio to neatly hold your resumes and other materials
Are there things I should NOT do or bring to the career fair?
- Chew gum.
- Approach a booth while talking or texting on your cell phone. Phones should be turned off (not to vibrate) and stowed away during the event.
- Listen to your ipod or other similar device.
- Bring refreshments or beverages with you. You want to have both hands free to distribute resumes and shake hands. Plus, you want to make a good first impression so minimize the risk for spills/slops.
What should I wear to the career fair?
Business professional attire is recommended for this event. Suits are always appropriate. Business casual is okay too. Keep in mind, however, “business casual” doesn’t mean “classroom casual.” Organizations say first impressions count, so give some thought to what you wear.
What do I do during the career fair?
Greet employers with a firm handshake, and maintain eye contact throughout your conversation. Use your prepared entry statement. Let them know how serious you are. Don’t just drop off a resume and move to the next booth. Take time to get additional information and make an impression. The point is not to see how many resumes you can give to employers in the least amount of time – it is a chance to network with employers.
Use your research to appear confident and knowledgeable. If you have done research before the career fair, you won’t have to ask the question, “What does your company do?” Instead, you could be asking questions about the position or department you are interested in. It works to your advantage if you can tell employers how your skills match what they are looking for. Employers want to hire people who are genuinely interested in their company.
Collect business cards for follow-up. It is always a good idea to collect the business card of the individual you spoke with at each table. This will allow you to follow up with a personal message or to contact that individual in the future.
It’s all business… isn’t there anything else?
Career fairs tend to be pretty corporate, but you will also see non-profit, healthcare and government organizations. Also, corporate organizations can offer a variety of opportunities—some that may fit your interests! So take a tip from recruiters: “Explore options you may not have considered… you never know what you might find.”
If you don’t find what you’re looking for at the fair, come chat with us! Career Services offers a variety of resources to help you map out a job search plan based on your specific interests and skills.