5 Steps to a Successful Career Fair

Career Fair

The following five steps will guide any student to a successful career fair.

1. Prepare

Take a look at the companies attending the career fair. Research the company, what they do, what positions they have open, what their internship programs look like, etc. Prepare a list of questions to ask the representative. The following are good examples of questions that are useful to ask:

  • What is a typical day look like for a ______ at X company?
  • What specific qualities does the position require?
  • How often are interns offered full-time positions?
  • How easy or difficult is it to move up in the company?

Read any recent press releases the company has put out and congratulate them on any recent achievements.

2. Dress professionally

You should always dress in professional business attire. For men, you should wear a suit, solid, light-colored dress shirt, bold tie, and dress shoes. Be sure to have your hair nicely cut and combed with a clean shaven face. For females, a business suit, pants or knee-length skirt, dress shirt, and dress shoes. Hair should be nicely pinned back and out of your face. Do not wear too much or gaudy jewelry and makeup should be simple and natural looking.
*Make sure your clothes are ironed and pants pleated*

3. Make the best first Impression

When you meet potential employers, you need to make not only a good impression but a phenomenal first impression. Make eye contact, offer a firm (but not too firm) handshake, smile, and speak with confidence. Introduce yourself, your major, and interest in the company/position. Listen intently and do not interrupt them while they are talking and try not to correct them unless it is an important blunder. Show you are listening, not just by nodding and repeating yes and OK, but by continuing the dialogue, add on to what they said, ask a question about what they said, or show interest and excitement in other ways.

4. Stand out from the crowd

Be personable! You are going up against students with many of the same credentials as you and the only difference between them and yourself is WHO you are. Make jokes, smile, and show them you’re knowledgeable in your field.

5. Bring an impressive resume

Bring 12-20 copies of your resume printed on resume paper. Your resume should be well structured and contain the most up-to-date information. Include relevant employment, education, volunteer and extracurricular activities, and technical skills. Also, include any study abroad information and leadership experience. Worst case scenario is you’ve added a new contact to your network, and they may be able to refer you to another great company.