Student Keys To Career Fair Success
To improve your chances for success at the job fair, we encourage you to spend some time studying the following "Keys" and consider them as you plan your strategy. If you implement the following "Keys" you will appear more focused, prepared and professional in the eyes of potential employers and should enhance your chances for success.
- Clarify your interests and goals. A student employment opportunity can be more than just a paycheck. Why not find a job that can help you develop skills and abilities related to your future career goals? Meet with a career counselor to discuss opportunities that will promote further career development.
- Study the list of organizations attending the fair in advance and research those you are particularly interested in visiting. Find out as much as you can about their organization. The more you know about them, the better prepared you will be to discuss the possibility of working for them.
- Prepare a resume that highlights your education, past work experiences, and volunteer activities to give to the organizations you plan to talk to. See our Resume Handout and make an appointment with a career counselor to have your resume reviewed. (Bring extra copies to the fair!)
- Prepare a three minute "commercial" about yourself that will briefly, but enthusiastically, show employers your strengths, skills, experience, and interests.
- Prepare questions to ask the employers you will be talking to:
- What positions are you trying to fill?
- Tell me about the job duties of the position?
- What qualities are you looking for in new hires?
- How would you describe the work environment?
- What do you enjoy most about working for your organization?
- What are your organizations strengths?
- Prepare answers to the questions employers will be asking you. See our Interviewing Handout for sample interview questions and interviewing strategies and techniques.
- Dress professionally for the career fair! Come dressed to the career fair as you would for a job interview. Suits are preferable, but business casual attire is also appropriate (khakis/dress pants and collared shirt with tie/sweater; dress, skirt, slacks, and blouse/sweater). First impressions are important and employers are more likely to remember the students who present themselves in a professional manner.
- Career fairs are valuable opportunities to obtain information about unfamiliar employers. Be sure to request company literature/business cards and information about any positions they have available now or in the near future. Bring a pen/pencil and paper to take notes.
- Broaden your focus, be open to new ideas, and talk to many different types of employers. Your chances of success go up with each contact you make.
- Bring extra copies of your resume to leave with employers. Estimate the amount you will need based upon the list of companies attending the fair.
- Greet employers with a firm handshake and maintain good eye contact. Remember: First Impressions Count!
- Discuss knowledge you have of the organization that you've gained through your research.
- Do not monopolize the employer's time. Ask specific questions and offer to follow up after the fair, as appropriate.
- Enthusiastically communicate your related interests, skills, strengths, and experience.
- Ask questions, but do not ask about salary and benefits until you are being seriously considered as an applicant.
- Write a letter to employers you are interested in, thanking them for their time and information. Include another resume and any other information you may have promised to send (a completed application, writing sample, recommendations, transcripts, etc.).
- Check with Career Services to see if the employer will be interviewing on campus. If they are, register with our office to schedule an interview with the employer.