Guide to Job Fair Success

Job fairs are a great way to personalize the job search process, since so much of applications and recruiting are done online. Since most of the companies and jobs will not be the right match, you should spend time preparing so that you can meet with those that are a good fit for you. It’s not about the number of companies you speak with, but the quality of the match(es). Below are tips for maximizing your time and effort.

Prepare

  1. Prepare your resume. Use College Central Network if you need help. Get it critiqued in the Career Services office.
  2. Research in advance. Find out which companies are coming and what positions are open. (If available)
  3. Practice your interviewing skills. Utilize the Career Services library resources. Schedule an appointment with a career advisor for a mock interview.
  4. Dress Professionally. Review your wardrobe to leave time for dry cleaning, alterations, and shoe polishing.
  5. What to Bring: 25 copies of your resume on white or ivory bond paper, a leather or leather-look notepad, and a nice pen. Carry it in a briefcase or attaché case. Leave book bags, backpacks, coats and umbrellas in the car or on a coat rack.
  6. Prepare a brief Introductory Speech. No more than a minute long, you should be able to introduce yourself to a recruiter and provide a summary of your background, achievements, and interests.
  7. Be prepared to interview on the spot. Know what type of position you want and your strengths, skills and goals.

At the Event

  1. Attend early. Some recruiters have to leave early for to attend other events.
  2. Use positive body language. Make eye contact. Smile. Offer a firm handshake.
  3. Introduce yourself. Don’t hesitate to make the first move. Say what you are interested in and why, what qualifies you.
  4. Question not to ask: “So what does your company do?” You should already know this.
  5. Questions to ask: “What is the best way to advance my candidacy? What is the next step in the hiring process and the timeline? May I have your business card?”
  6. Apply online within 24 hours if the recruiter directs you to do so. Mention the job fair in your cover letter.
  7. Pick up literature to take home and review.
  8. Thank the recruiter for his/her time and information.

Don't...

  1. Tell an employer that you are interested if you aren’t or say you will do something if you won’t.
  2. Bring family (parents, children), friends, significant others.
  3. Walk around in a group of students or with your significant other.
  4. Waste time standing in line.
  5. Talk on your cell phone.
  6. “Shop” giveaways from the employers’ tables.

After the Event

  1. Send a written thank you to those companies that most interest you.
  2. Send a resume or thank you within 24 hours.