Navigating a Career Fair

Before the fair

Research: Review a list of the companies that will be participating in the career fair. Peruse their websites, check out vacancies, and review the job descriptions, and prepare specific questions to ask each recruiter.

Attire: Prepare your professional attire – conservative business attire. It is better to be overdressed or underdressed.

Resumes: Have your resume reviewed by a career coach well ahead of the event and bring multiple copies to distribute to recruiters.

Interview Preparation: Schedule an appointment with a career coach to discuss interview preparation in case there are same-day interviews being offered at the career fair.

Business cards: Create a digital business card to be able to share your contact information with recruiters. HiHello is a great option.

Elevator pitch: Prepare a 20-30 second speech to introduce yourself to recruiters. Include what you’re currently studying, key experiences gained, and your career goals. Practice it with a career coach, professional friend, or family member.

During the fair

Follow your schedule: Ensure that you visit those companies of interest from your prior research first, but also make time to visit as many booths as possible. You never know who you’ll meet or what information you will learn.

Ask Questions: Prepare a short list of questions about the company’s values, culture, programs and initiatives for students and recent graduates. Be sure to also take notes to jot down important information and to help you remember who you spoke with – bring a notepad.

Share: Share your resume with recruiters and contact information (digital business card) with recruiters.

Hydrate: Talking to many people in a short period of time can be exhausting and dehydrating. Be sure to take a bottle of water with you or make sure you have access to a water fountain to hydrate yourself when necessary.

After the fair

Connect: Take time to send a quick email to the recruiters you connected with to reintroduce yourself and establish contact. Be sure to make professional social media connections as well such as LinkedIn.

Apply: Send in applications for any open positions you discussed with recruiters.

For more tips on how to navigate a career fair, check out this article from Handshake!