Attending Career Fairs & Employer Events
Employer events provide opportunities to network, get advice, and learn about the application process for internships and jobs. Formats for events vary and include career fairs, information sessions and panels, networking events, coffee chats, and workshops or competitions.
Before the Event
- Identify your objectives for attending.
- Review employers’ websites, information shared in advance, and event logistics.
- Identify the representatives you most want to speak to and prepare for those conversations.
- Use your research about employers, their work, and available positions to develop questions to ask.
- For fairs or events where a résumé is requested, update your document and bring multiple copies.
- Develop and practice a professional introduction until you’re comfortable.
- Be prepared to talk about yourself and your experiences. Practice responses to questions out loud.
- Plan what to wear based on the event type and location. NCA events are business casual.
During the Event
- Demonstrate professionalism through your actions. Be polite to your peers, keep your phone on silent and out of sight, and stay engaged in conversations.
- Listen to presenters and ask questions.
- At an in-person event, greet representatives with a firm handshake, smile, and professional introduction.
- Respect employers’ time and leave time for other students by keeping your conversations brief.
- Engage in two-sided conversations and get to know employer representatives. Ask about roles, experiences, and opportunities.
- Arrive a few minutes early and make every effort to stay for the duration. Informal engagement with an employer may happen before or after the event.
After the Event
- Reflect on what you learned and how it affects your job or internship search.
- Send personalized thank-you notes via email within two days of the event, reiterating your gratitude and interest.
- Strategically incorporate the information you gathered into your application materials and interview responses.
- Take detailed notes after speaking with people. This will help you personalize and enhance follow-up conversations.