Tips to Get the Most Out of Career Fair 2020
Bring many copies of your resume to submit to employers.
Come prepared. Before the fair, you can review the online directory of employers. If you spend a little time getting some background on an organization, then you can ask very focused and specific questions. This impresses representatives because it shows a genuine interest in them.
Dress appropriately. First impressions are important.
Allow yourself adequate time. Come as early as possible. Fairs close promptly at publicized ending times to accommodate employers' travel arrangements.
Get your bearings. You may feel more comfortable if you quickly locate and walk by the employers in whom you're most interested. This will confirm their location and alert you to any crowds or lines of other people waiting.
Prioritize the employers you're most interested in. If your schedule allows, you may find it easiest to start with the employers in which you're less interested. This will allow you to hone your approach and to be most confident when you approach the employers you're especially excited about. Be sure to balance this tip with the reality that you may have little time and that many other people may be interested in the same employers. Assume that you will need to wait to speak with some employers.
Be flexible. Some reps attending fairs are there to share their experiences working at the organization and may not be involved in the hiring process. If the employer rep at the fair does not know specifically about jobs/internships of interest to you, ask for the name of someone who can help you.
Introduce yourself and be prepared to give your "career pitch." Extend your hand, say "hello" and state your name. Have your resume ready to give to the employer. Students: be ready to talk about your career interests as well as academic and extracurricular experiences to show your skills and strengths.
Take notes when you inquire about next steps and the possibility of talking with additional managers. The representative at the fair may not be able to answer all of your questions or know specifics about your job interests. Write down the names, telephone numbers, etc. of other staff in the organization whom you can contact later. Note specific employer information sessions, on-campus interviewing and projected hiring dates that will affect you. You will not be able to take advantage of this information if you don't record it.
Ask the representative for his/her card, and then promptly send a thank-you note. Having the business card of the representative you have just spoken with serves three purposes. First, you have a direct contact with the organization, including the proper spelling of the representative's name, direct telephone line, etc. Second, a brief thank-you note acknowledges the help they gave you and the time they took to visit campus. Third, sending thank-you notes is a good professional habit.
Respect employers' materials/sample items. Some employers bring large quantities of print materials or "give aways" clearly intended for people to take. Other employers bring a few copies of print materials, sample products, etc. as displays at their tables. Always check with employers before taking materials from their tables and don't take materials still packed in boxes.
Be courteous! All of the organizations at the fair are there because of their interest in hiring in our area. Demonstrate sensitivity to other people waiting to speak with employers by keeping your questions brief and offering to continue your conversation at a later time. Enjoy the fair and your interaction with the employers. Let your positive attitude show!