Tips for Attending a Career Fair
Career fairs can be scary. With preparation, you’ll increase your chances of making a great first impression and possibly landing a job or internship!
Here are a few of our tips and tricks for attending a career fair:
Do your research ahead of time.
- Go to your school’s website and check out the list of companies that are attending.
- Once you have a list of the companies that interest you, do some research. What do they do? Where are they located? What of their open positions interest you? – This will help you stand out next to other students.
Have your resume ready.
- Go to your career center and get advice on how to craft the best resume.
- Make sure you double and triple check for any errors before making it your final copy (enlist your friends to help proofread or offer suggestions).
- Keep it down to one page and be sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile.
- Have PLENTY of printed copies ready to hand out. While you might only plan on attending a few booths, you may find yourself stopping by more than you expect.
Be prepared to talk.
- Most recruiters will ask you to tell them a little bit about yourself and your background. Be ready to give a short description on what your major is, what you are looking for as a career, and any relevant experience to what the company is hiring for.
- Be proactive in the conversation – when you first approach the person at the table, start talking about yourself! They may take over and ask questions, but making an effort to lead the conversation, especially when it’s clear you’ve done research, makes you stand out. Remember, you are making a first impression and want to leave that conversation memorable to the other person.
- Ask questions! Find out what makes an ideal candidate for their company. Ask what are some of their favorite things about the company, what a typical day would look like in the position, what the next step would be to apply for the position, etc. Recruiters like candidates who show genuine interest in the company and their open role(s). When you don’t ask questions, recruiters often think you’re not very interested and you may just get overlooked for it.
Dress to impress.
- Make sure you wear appropriate attire. Some schools require a strict dress code while others may be more laid back. Either way, make sure you dress to impress! No one makes a good impression at a career fair looking sloppy.
- Suggested attire for men: Business casual – dress pants and a button down. Tie optional. Nice shoes.
- Suggested attire for women: Business casual – a proper dress (not too revealing), dress pants and a nice top, or skirt and a nice top. Nice shoes.
Make a great first impression.
- Have a firm handshake!
- Make eye contact.
- Don't chew gum.
- Speak clearly and confidently! It's understandable to be nervous, and that's okay, but following the above tips will help mitigate your nerves, boost your confidence, and possibly even land you an awesome job or internship (maybe with us)!