Prepare for a Career Fair


Career Fair Preparation Guide

  • Get ready!

    Weeks before the career fair, have your resume and LinkedIn profile reviewed by the Career Center. Make sure your resume highlights can be quickly scanned in 6–10 seconds.

  • Research

    Stop by the Career Center during the week of the fair to obtain a list of attending employers. Research the companies and organizations on that list so that you can ask specific, relevant questions.

  • Dress appropriately

    First impressions are of the utmost importance. Dress conservatively and professionally to communicate maturity and job readiness. If you want to browse a wide selection of professional clothing, visit the Career Center's Professional Wardrobe Closet where you can rent professional clothes. 

  • Bring key items

    For the event, bring more resumes than you think you will need, a padfolio and pen. There is no need to bring your cellphone, a bulky bag or cover letters to a career fair.

  • Maximize your time

    Come early and stay as late as possible. This is your chance to network with professionals and potentially score a job. Make this time a priority in your schedule.

  • Work the room

    As you explore the career fair, try to visit every table. Network with employers that are not on your planned list. If there is a line at one employer, go on to the next and return when it is less crowded. Opportunities could exist in unexpected places!

  • Introduce yourself

    Firmly shake the employer’s hand, make great eye contact and be prepared to answer the question, “Tell me about yourself.” Take 60-90 seconds to describe your education, experiences and personal background while aligning yourself to their company.

  • Stay positive

    Whether you share about your background or past jobs, always present the information in a positive perspective and with a smile.

  • Ask questions

    Be prepared with a few insightful questions to ask employers. This can demonstrate interest, enthusiasm and professionalism.

  • Wrap it up

    As your conversation comes to a finish, offer a firm handshake and smile. Express your appreciation to the representative using their name and ask for their business card.

  • Travel alone

    Employers are most impressed by the professionalism of a student when they are not traveling with others. Take the initiative to approach an employer booth confidently by yourself so that the conversation can thrive.

  • Remain professional at all times

    Recruiters are constantly observing the crowd. Be confident and proactive about how you present yourself even when you think no one is looking.

  • Follow up

    Within a day or two, send the employer a handwritten thank-you note or LinkedIn message. This is a courtesy that can leave a solid and lasting impression on an employer.


Professional Wardrobe Closet

If you’d like to know how to dress for a career fair, visit the Career Center's Professional Wardrobe Closet where you can borrow professional clothes.


Career Center
8432 Magnolia Avenue
School of Business, Rm 120
Riverside, CA 92504

(951) 343-5031

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Monday–Friday 8 A.M. - 5 P.M.

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