5 Step Guide to Succeed at Career Fairs
- Research the companies you plan to visit, and prepare several questions to ask each recruiter. The list of organizations attending can be found on Handshake.
- Bring multiple copies of a polished/targeted resume. Check out our resume tips or meet with your career coach.
- Practice your 1-minute personal introduction, or elevator pitch
- Research appropriate dress in your career field. Discuss this with your career coach or industry professionals.
- When in doubt, it is better to be too conservative than too flashy. Dress up rather than be too casual.
- Most business employers prefer business professional dress at a career fair or job interviews. For men, this means a jacket and tie; for women, this means a professional pants suit or skirt.
- Have your clothes clean and wrinkle-free.
- Wear dress shoes, not flip-flops or tennis shoes.
- Accessories should be kept simple: shoes, jewelry and makeup should present a professional image.
- Minimize your cologne and perfume usage. Definitely use deodorant and brush your teeth.
- Is a new suit too expensive? Check out our Career Closet to rent clothes for free!
- Be polite at all times. The person you meet in the parking lot, elevator, hallway, or restroom may be a recruiter you’ll see later that day.
- Display confidence, enthusiasm, and the ability to think and speak on your feet.
- Request the recruiter’s business card or contact information. Ask how and when you should follow-up.
- Be respectful of the recruiters’ time and remember other candidates are waiting to talk with them.
- Don’t be discouraged if you are directed to the online application.
- Lines may be long, so wear comfortable shoes. Respect other candidates’ privacy when approaching the recruiter’s table.
- Make notes after you’ve spoken with a recruiter. Do this while you’re in line for the next recruiter, or sit away from the crowd to jot down your notes. Either way, take time to regroup and have your thoughts in order for the next recruiter.
- You likely will not receive a job offer at the fair. Most recruiters are not authorized to hire on the spot. This does not mean that companies are not hiring. Remember, you’re trying to land an interview at this point.
- The recruitment process can take three to four months (or longer). The larger the company, the longer this may take.
- Reflect on all the employers you visited at the fair. Ask yourself if your interests, background, and experience might be a match for the employer.
- Use the contact information from recruiters to call or write follow-up emails requesting more interaction or a personal interview.
- Send thank-you notes or emails to employers who take the time to visit with you following your contact request, even if you are no longer interested in their company.
- Keep notes on the interactions you have with the companies. Often, job offers come because of meaningful interactions and information you gather during the recruitment process.