Job Fair Tips for Candidates
Be Prepared Before the Fair
- Video with Student Advice on how to prepare for the Job Fair
Know what to say
- Prepare a 15-second pitch about yourself – what skills and accomplishments do you bring that will benefit this company. What makes you unique?
- This video from Boston University Center for Career Development provides great tips to help prepare your Elevator Pitch.
Plan to wear a professional outfit - first impressions are critical and lasting
- Dress business casual. Refrain from wearing perfume or cologne.
- Employers strongly discourage mini skirts, tank/halter/sleeveless tops,low cut or tight fitting shirts, facial or tongue piercings, and visible tattoos.
- Watch these videos to get more ideas on Professional and Business Casual dress:
Employers say - "Go to our website: look at our openings and the types of jobs we have, learn about our company and apply online."
- A list of this years attendees with links to their web sites can be found under Employer Attendees.
- It's a great way to find out current openings and apply on line.
- Look up information and do research on the companies you want to talk to. Impress them with your company knowledge and enthusiasm to work for them.
- Identify and research companies you want to work for and have a ">custom path designed for you.
- Glass door is a resource to help you do some research on companies before you attend the fair
Prepare your resume before the fair – in the case you're asked for it.
- It's less common at job fairs that employers are accepting resumes, they steer applicants to their online applications, however in the case you are asked for one, be prepared to offer a current resume.
At the Career Fair
- Come early in the day – employers are at their peak and there is less competition. Plan on extra time for checking in.
- Be patient, keep a positive attitude and show your enthusiasm for their company.
- Bring a pen, folder or portfolio for your resumes, and perhaps a pad of paper.
- Carry as little as possible (no coats or backpacks).
- Turn off cell phones in the employer areas.
- Talk to others while you are waiting in line. You may hear about opportunities of which you were unaware.
Approach employer representatives with confidence.
- Introduce yourself, make good eye contact, and offer a firm handshake. Be enthusiastic – smile and express interest in the company.
- Know what type of position you are looking for.
- Ask appropriate questions about job openings/descriptions, the organization, application procedures, etc. Click on Questions to Ask Recruiters.
- Collect business cards and employer literature.
- Don’t just drop your resume on employers display table and grab free stuff. Try to get it into a person’s hands and at least say a few words. Write a note on your resume to the effect of, “You were so busy that we didn't get a chance to meet. I’m very interested in talking to you.” Look around the display for their business card and send them a follow up note with another copy of your resume.
Navigating the event
- Go try your pitch out on an employer you are not as interested in before you go to your top choices.
- When you visit your top choices; avoid standing in a long line to speak with one recruiter when you could talk with 3 or 4 others in the same time period.
- Listen what questions others are asking and what recruiters are saying. You might get some ideas for good questions.
- Explore options - A wide variety of companies will normally participate. This is an excellent opportunity to browse and indulge your curiosity.
- Be flexible - Not all companies will have open positions or be interviewing on the spot. Be prepared to gather information and make connections with employers for possible future openings. Don't burn a bridge by expressing frustration about a lack of current jobs.
After the Career Fair
Send a thank you letter or email message.
- Thank employers for their time spent at the job fair. Restate your interest to those employers in which you are particularly interested.
- Include a copy of your resume. Since most candidates will not follow up with employers after the job fair, this will make you stand out.