Job fairs can be a valuable way to expand your network and set the stage for a rewarding career in the future. Designed to help students and employers connect for full time, part-time, seasonal and internship opportunities, students of all majors and years are encouraged to attend. These tips will help you make the most of your time at a job fair.
Before the Career Expo
- Visit or call the Office of Career Development and Academic Advising to find out which organizations will attend the fair.
- Research organizations of interest in Career Development's resource room and on the Internet.
- Practice asking the representatives questions with friends or in front of a mirror.
- Know enough about your interests, skills, values and personality to answer questions.
- Identify specific experiences where you have demonstrated your strengths.
- Know why you want to work for the specific organizations.
- Arrange to wear conservative, professional, interview-style attire.
- Prepare and bring at least 20 copies of your resume on professional-looking paper.
- Consider creating business cards to distribute to the employers.
During the Career Expo
- Make eye contact immediately when introducing yourself.
- Give a firm handshake to get you off to a good start.
- Remember the representative's name - refer to their name tag if necessary.
- Smile and be polite - enthusiasm is an important quality.
- Dress professionally! Suits are the way to go.
- Be aware of body language - arms crossed can indicate disinterest; slumping can indicate laziness. Be alert and ready to engage in meaningful conversation.
- Avoid fidgeting, playing with hair, rocking from side to side, chewing gum, etc.
- When speaking with recruiters, keep your eyes focused on them and LISTEN!
- Avoid using filler words like "um," "like," and "you know."
- Show confidence in your voice and stance.
- Bring professional-looking resumes in a folder or portfolio. Offer one to the companies which interest you. If you run out, offer to send them.
- Ask for a business card. You'll need it if you decide to contact them later.
- Speak with organizations you had not considered before. Explore all options!
After the Career Expo
- Write notes about each conversation on the back of business cards you collect (outside the view of representatives!). This serves as a reminder when contacting the companies later.
- Send a thank you letter! It is very appropriate and can bring a second glance to your name. If you need contact information, we have the addresses of all representatives.
- Your letter should point out your strengths in the same way a cover letter would; sending an initial or additional resume in your thank you letter will help the recruiter to keep your name at the top.
- Call to make sure any applications you have on file are complete. Practice what to say beforehand, and write notes if necessary.
Sample Questions to Ask
Before beginning your questions, be sure to introduce yourself and establish a rapport with the representatives. Do not read directly from this list of questions at the job fair. Ask them naturally, and at a slow pace. Listen carefully to their answers. Before leaving, be sure to close the conversation politely and thank them for their time.
- How many employees does your company have?
- What kind of entry-level positions/internships exist within your organization?
- How many employees exist within my area of interest (state which area of interest)?
- Does your company hire on a continual basis or just at certain times of the year?
- How long does the hiring process take? What does it consist of?
- What does your organization consider to be the most important qualities in an employee?
- Are graduate degrees important to advancing within your organization? Which ones?
- Which courses or experiences do you suggest to be a successful candidate?
- Is there a GPA cut-off in the recruiting process?
- Which personality traits are important for success in your company?
- As an entry-level employee, what can I expect to be doing in 2, 5 or 10 years?
- What made you choose this company and why do you stay?
- How long have you been with the company?
- What has your organization accomplished that make you especially proud?
- For how many years does the typical entry-level employee stay with the company?
- What percentage of applicants are eventually hired? What is the retention rate?
- What is your organization's culture like?
- Are there opportunities for ongoing training through your organization?
- Do you expect your employees to relocate? How much travel is involved?