Making the Most of a Career Fair: Tips for Success

Goals for a Career Fair

The Student: To find out about suitable positions with potential employers, to obtain company and industry information, and to distribute resumes.

The Employer: To identify potential candidates for known or anticipated positions, to share information relative to their business, and to collect resumes.

Your success at the Career Fair depends on how well you have prepared and on how well you communicate your interests and abilities to recruiters. When you are there ask questions, take business cards, and then follow-up with employers after the event. If you have any questions about how to succeed at the Career Fair, contact Thayer School Career Services for an appointment.

Tips For Interacting with Employers

Bring plenty of resumes, a pad and pen, and dress to impress! A suit is not necessary but "business casual" dress or nicer is recommended.

If you don't have a résumé yet, make a counseling appointment to meet with someone in Career Services.

Conduct preliminary research on the employers you are most interested in. Most employers post ample information regarding their organizations on their web sites. You may find our information on "Conducting Employer Research" to be helpful in finding information.

Prepare questions in advance and a verbal "60 second summary" of who you are and what you have to offer an employer. Preparation, enthusiasm, and energy will get you noticed!

Make sure that you are prepared to answer questions regarding your education, work experience, skills, and abilities.

Speak clearly and concisely. Make sure that you can be heard above all of the noise! Don't let yourself be distracted when talking to an employer. Maintain good eye contact and focus on what is being said. Manage your time well so that you are able to see all of the employers you are interested in. Remember that you may have to wait in line for some employers.

It is NEVER a waste of your time to talk to an employer who does not have an opening right now. Hiring is cyclical! They are there because they know that they will be interviewing candidates in the near future. This contact with the employer can make all the difference. Get all the information you can and make a great first impression!

Last, but not least, practice that HANDSHAKE!

Most Common Mistakes made at Career Fairs

Each year thousands of job seekers swarm the floors of career fairs throughout the country searching for jobs, meeting hiring personnel and passing out resumes. But many of them are not successful. The process is tainted by poor job search practices that impede their career growth.

The following are the most common mistakes made by career fair attendees. Apply the advice with each mistake to benefit most from the career fair experience.