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.
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.