Before the Job Fair
- Identify your top 10 organizations and begin researching basic information about them including size, location, products and services, history, financials, and mission/vision statement. Use resources such as the organization’s website, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and news articles.
- Polish your resume. Print out 15-20 copies to bring to the job fair in a portfolio or binder.
- Review and practice your answers to common questions such as “Why are you interested in our organization or this particular position?” Prepare 3-4 questions to ask the recruiters--questions that can’t easily be answered from the organization website.
- Create and practice your core message, a 15-30 second introduction to who you are and why you are interested in the organization. See next page for examples of an appropriate core message.
- Prepare your attire. Plan to wear conservative colors such as black, brown, navy, or gray with closed toed comfortable shoes. All tattoos must be covered and jewelry worn minimally. Keep cologne to a minimum.
- Remember to bring a pen, paper, and portfolio to jot down notes, recruiter names, next steps, and collect literature and/or business cards.
During the Fair
- Pick up a fair map and nametag, if provided. Locate your top 10 organizations, fill out your nametag, and place below your right shoulder.
- Don’t walk around with friends or family members. This isn’t a social event; it’s a chance for you to market yourself as a future employee.
- Build a relationship with each recruiter by smiling, offering a firm handshake, and making eye contact.
- Share your core message! Demonstrate a positive, friendly, and conversational demeanor.
- Gather information and materials from each organization, including business cards when possible.
- Showcase your enthusiasm and knowledge while asking your prepared questions. Your questions will help you gain an in-depth understanding of the organization and its opportunities, allowing you to assess your fit.
- Take notes after each conversation and identify next steps, including filling out an online application.
After the Job Fair
- Send thank-you notes to recruiters you met at the Job Fair within 24-48 hours, not only to thank them for their time, but also to express your interest in the organization and its opportunities.
- Apply online to the companies with whom you have an interest.
- Create a system to organize your materials, notes, and contact information such as an Excel document.
- Plan to follow up with recruiters if you do not hear back from them regarding your application 2-3 weeks after the job fair.