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Prepare for the Career Fair


  • Create an “elevator pitch” Introduction: 
    • Introduce yourself, offer a firm hand shake and a resume.
    • Objective: tell the employer why you are there and what sort of employment you seek.
    • Summary: Briefly summarize education, experience, strengths, etc.
    • Closing: Reiterate your interest and thank the employer. 
  • Arrive early to avoid long lines and catch all employers, as some may leave before the career fair ends.
  • Check-in your coat at the coat racks. Leave everything else in your dorm. If you would not bring it to an interview, don’t bring it to the Career Fair.
    • Turn your cell phone on silent or off before entering.
  • Brush up your personal appearance. 
  • Prepare a resume that is well-written and error free (at least 12).
    • Bring a portfolio or nice folder for your resumé. This will help make a good first impression. 
  • Bring copies of your unofficial transcript and professional references.
  • Bring a pen and notebook. 
  • Be polite to people in the parking lot, hallway, or restroom – anyone could be a recruiter. 
  • Wear the name tag given to you at the door. 
  • Small breath mints – NO gum.

How to Approach a Recruiter

  • You will receive a map of where each employer is located. 
    • Chart your course and survey the room to determine where employers are located and in what order you plan to visit them. If there is a long line to speak with a representative, keep moving and return later. 
  • Be confident, display enthusiasm, confidence, sincerity, and the ability to communicate clearly. Smile, walk with good posture, and make consistent and direct eye contact. Visit employers’ tables on your own. 
  • Introduce yourself when it’s your turn to meet the employer. Take a deep breath, smile, shake hands firmly and begin your “elevator pitch.” Make direct eye contact with the employer throughout your conversation, and watch your tempo and tone. 
    • Avoid speaking too quickly and/or too loudly or softly. 
  • Give the representative your resumé and be ready to discuss your background, qualifications, and career goals. 
  • Ask questions about potential internship/career opportunities, and the company as a whole. 
  • Speak/network with as many employers as possible. There will be a representative for each major.

Sample Questions to Ask

In order to ask proper questions regarding a company you may be interested in, conduct research before the Career Fair. Learn about what the company stands for, their current big projects, and prepare questions that demonstrate that you care about learning more about their company. Ask one or two meaningful questions without monopolizing the employer’s time. Don’t ask questions that you could have found answers to online. However, there are also broader questions that you should ask. If you are not graduating, ask about internships, co-ops, summer jobs and scholarship opportunities.

  • What are the opportunities for advancement?
  • What types of training programs do you offer?
  • What are the skills and attributes you value most in your employees?
  • What type of educational background do you look for in your employees?
  • What is the company culture like?
  • What do you enjoy most about working for the company?
  • How do you recommend I apply for this position?
  • What types of people do well within your company?
  • What are typical career paths for college graduates starting in an entry-level position in __ field within your company? 
  • When reviewing resumes for this position, what are the top things you look for? 
  • Does your organization offer any internship opportunities? 
  • What types of experiences are most valuable to you? (i.e. internships, volunteering, projects, research, leadership, etc.)
  • What is your top piece of advice for a student interested in eventually working for your company?
  • May I contact you with further questions?

After the Career Fair

  • Follow-up is essential. 
  • Send a thank you email that evening. 
  • Be persistent and observe follow-up procedures suggested by the employer. Once you have complied with these procedures, and a reasonable amount of time has passed since you heard from the employer, it is okay to send an email or call to inquire about the status of your application. 
  • Start a database for your contacts. Helps with follow up and when you might want to make future contact for other positions that become available.