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 employers attending. Review 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.

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 as early as possible 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. Explore 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 query, “Tell me about yourself.” Take 30 seconds to one minute 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 a herd of 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. 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.