Career fairs are an opportunity for networking, a way to search for an internship or job, and a forum for professional development.
Before a career fair
- Identify your career goals and objectives for the fair.
- Choose five to seven employers from the list on Handshake and research those companies and their positions.
- Develop potential questions to ask employers. Update your résumé and bring multiple copies.
- Develop and practice a professional introduction until it’s polished and feels natural.
- Practice responses to questions out loud.
- Plan what to wear. NCA events are business casual; other offices may recommend business professional attire.
During a career fair
- Review the employer summaries and map before entering the room.
- Demonstrate professionalism through your actions. When you run into friends, remain polite.
- Visit at least one other company before heading to meet with your most desired employer.
- Greet recruiters with a firm handshake and a smile, and keep your conversations brief, upbeat, and positive.
- Engage in two-sided conversations. Ask about roles, experiences, and opportunities. Avoid basic questions that can be answered by reviewing a job description or company website.
- Give yourself enough time at the fair to approach all employers of interest. While the beginning and end of a fair are usually good times for longer conversations, some recruiters may leave early.
After a career fair
- Reflect on what you learned. How does it affect your job or internship search? Send personalized thank-you notes within two days of the event to the professionals you met.
- Strategically incorporate the information you gathered into your application materials and interview responses.
- If you didn’t have time to introduce yourself to an employer of interest, express your disappointment that you were unable to connect, share information regarding your candidacy, and reinforce your interest in the organization.