The University of Utah is hosting several Career Fairs this week, and these are not events you want to miss. These recruiting and networking events give students the opportunity to pursue their dream job, internship and life. With that in mind, I’ve prepared this mini “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” for career fairs.

In order to make to the most of your experience, follow these six critical steps:

  • Do your Research!
    • Use the Utah Career Fair Plus app to see who is attending the fair. You can get a full list of employers so you can prepare.
    • Identify which companies you are most interested in and learn about their company culture, mission and what opportunities they have available.
  • Have an elevator pitch prepared.
    • Get a good start with the elements below. Be sure to adapt and rephrase to make it your own:

“Hello, I’m_______________________. I am completing a ______________ in _____________, and my main focus/interest/experience is _________________.”

Make yourself interesting, and the best way to be interesting is to be interested in what the recruiter has to say. Ask questions such as:

“I’d like to know what makes your work most interesting and most challenging.”

“What particular skills and qualities do you look for in your team?”

  • Dress the part.
    • Make sure you are dressed professionally, as you would for a job interview. Each meeting with a recruiter is a mini interview, and your chance to make a first impression. Wear business attire. That means suit and tie for men. Women can also wear a suit, a professional dress or slacks and blouse combination. The important thing is that you give off an air of pulled-together professionalism.
  • Bring current copies of your resume.
    • Hand out your resume to all companies you are interested in. You can make sure your resume is ready to share by meeting with your advisor at the Business Career Services office in SFEBB 1140.
  • Keep an open mind!
    • Keep an open mind toward every company. You never know what opportunities await! A small company may be offering the perfect career opportunity for you.
  • Follow-up
    • Be respectful of each recruiter’s time. Ask how you should follow-up. Retrieve business cards and write a quick note on them so you remember who you talked to and what you spoke about. When following-up, forward a copy of your resume as well as a personalized thank you.

All in all, follow the good advice from Douglas Adams in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” which is: “Don’t Panic.”

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