Job Fair provides an opportunity to make a great first impression with potential employers. Be sure to take the time to prepare for your visit and make the most of your experience.
How Should I Prepare?
- Read the Employer List to learn which companies will be in attendance. Do further research by visiting the websites of companies that interest you.
- Prepare a list of questions ahead of time. Your goal is to demonstrate your interest in and knowledge about the company.
- Don’t ask for information that’s easily available on the employer’s website.
- Don’t ask about salary and benefits, unless the employer initiates the conversation.
- Prepare a resume that outlines your education, skills, and background in a clear and concise manner. Estimate the number of employers you plan to visit and print twice as many resumes. You should also be prepared to fill out applications at the event.
- Write and practice a 45 to 60 second “elevator pitch” to introduce yourself and market your education, skills, background, and motivation. Use our Practice Your Pitch tip sheets (available in Word or PDF) to get started.
It’s Show Time: Make the most of your Job Fair Experience
- Make sure to bring your student ID card (it’s required for admission) plus several copies of your resume, information about which companies you plan to visit, and a list of questions you may want to ask. Carrying a portfolio will help you keep your materials organized.
- Know that some employers may not accept hard copy resumes. If an employer asks you to instead submit an online application, this does not mean that you’re being brushed off.
- You are being evaluated on more than just your resume, so dress and act professionally. You may be meeting your new boss for the first time, and you want to make an excellent first impression. Your purpose is to represent yourself well and create an opening for further contact.
- Be aware of your manners and mannerisms.
- Use a good, firm handshake and make direct eye contact.
- Be friendly, speak clearly, be engaging, and maintain a positive attitude.
- Keep an open mind. If you have time, you might learn something new by visiting employers not originally on your list. If nothing else, you can practice initiating conversation.
- Respect employers’ materials and sample items. While most will have information resources and/or “giveaways” for you to take, some may have limited quantities. Always check with an employer before taking anything with you.
- Be courteous. Represent yourself and your school well, and be respectful of your fellow students. Keep your questions brief if you notice a line forming.
- Take notes of your conversations. Create reminders of when and how you will follow up.
- After you speak with an employer, thank them for their time.