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Preparing for the Career Fair

Employers find it more effective to hire people they’ve met, so they come to the career fair to find the right students for their jobs and internships. Make sure you stand out by watching this short video to learn the secrets to impressing the employers.

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Use these links to resources mentioned in the video to get started on preparing for the career fair.

What to expect at the fair:

A career fair is much more intimidating when you don’t know what to expect. Use the following tips to show up feeling confident you are ready for the day.

  • Come to the fair as early in the day as your schedule allows so that you can have your conversations when the employers are most energized and excited. If possible, avoid coming at the very end of the event. Be aware that while we discourage employers from leaving early, some choose to do so.
  • Bring a nice folder, binder, or portfolio for your materials, including resumes, your questions for the organizations you plan to speak with, and something to make notes with.
  • Bring your student ID card. When you arrive, you will scan your card and receive a printed name tag with your name and major. If you don’t have your card, you can use your student ID number.
  • There will be a coat rack and area by the check-in tables to leave backpacks and other items. Ideally, only bring with you what you would take to an interview. (Career Services cannot guarantee the safety of items left outside the ballroom, so please do not leave valuable items.)
  • Employers want you to wear your name tag. Remember that they meet a lot of students throughout the day, so being able to see your name tag during the conversation is really helpful for them.
  • When you check in, you will be handed a map of the ballroom which will help you locate the employers you want to talk to. If you need help finding someone, come to the Career Services table, which will be located near the doors once you enter the ballroom.
  • Each employer has a table, and most organizations will have one or two representatives.  If there is a long line at an employer’s table, consider visiting another employer first and then coming back.
  • Silence your phone before entering so it does not interrupt a conversation.
  • When introducing yourself and talking with an employer, confidence and enthusiasm can be important. Try to remember to smile and make eye contact. Improve your confidence by making sure you feel well prepared to discuss your applicable skills and experiences. Asking good questions will help show your enthusiasm for their opportunities.
  • Always ask for a business card or contact information for the recruiter before leaving the table so that you can follow up. Send a thank you email to employers you talked to shortly after the fair. You can also use this as an opportunity to reinforce important points from your conversation and discuss next steps.
  • Don’t approach an employer simply for the giveaways at their table.  Only accept giveaways if the employer offers them after speaking with you.
  • Keep your options open and speak with additional organizations even if they aren’t currently your top choice. Sometimes speaking with an employer can change your mind about an opportunity. Also Remember that while a particular organization might not be actively recruiting for the type of job you want, it is still an opportunity to establish contacts and get a foot in the door.

For more information and questions please contact Career Services at (208) 426-1747 or