Prepare for a Career Fair

Before Attending the Fair:

  • Study the list of organizations attending the fair in advance and research those you are particularly interested in visiting. Find them on Handshake.
  • Prepare a resume that highlights your education, past work experiences and volunteer activities to give to the organizations you plan to talk to.
  • 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.

At the Fair:

  • Dress appropriately for the job fair! Come dressed to the career fair as you would for a job interview. First impressions are important and employers are more likely to remember the students who present themselves in a professional manner.
    • Business casual dress is expected.
      • Khakis/dress pants and collared shirt with tie/sweater; dress, skirt, slacks and blouse/sweater.
    • Casual dress (sweats, jeans, shorts, hooded sweatshirts, T-shirts, tank tops, muscle shirts, slippers, flip-flops, etc.) is not appropriate for career fairs or job interviews. Employers will not take you seriously if your appearance looks unprofessional. 
  • 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.

After the Fair:

  • 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 on Handshake.