A Practical Guide to Attending Career Fairs

Over the last couple of years, I’ve had the privilege to meet a lot of students at University career fairs.  As I meet many great people, I realize that some students don’t really know what to expect and do when they show up!  Here are some pointers that should make things go a lot smoother for you and the employer you are meeting.

1. Research the companies that are attending the fair—Your career center should have a list of all the employers that are attending the fair, and what positions they are recruiting for. It can be awkward when you show up, asking about positions that the company does not even recruit for. Make sure not to go from booth to booth, employers notice that and it is frowned upon.

2. Prepare your 30-second pitch—You do not have a lot of time to spend with your employers, you need to differentiate yourself from everybody else. Pick 3-4 things that you feel are key and make sure the employer knows that you at least need to be considered for an interview.

3. Dress Professionally—This may be the one time you have you to get in front of an employer. You don’t want come dressed in your pajamas or sweats. Remember that first impressions are lasting. If you are looking for employment, you might consider a suit, as you will want this for your interview.

4. Make sure your resume is relevant—f you are looking around for general positions, make sure your resume is not specific to one area. You don’t want your entire history to be finance specific and then say you are interested in a Sales position. Relevance is important.

5. Don’t go goodie shopping at the booths—I know a lot of employers have really cute giveaways, but don’t walk up to employers just to get something. All that is doing is wasting yours and the employers’ time.

If you follow these guidelines, you should have a successful day at your career fair, and hopefully receive a few interviews. 

About the Author: Lauren Archer