Career Fair Tips

Why Should You Attend Career Fairs

Attending career fairs are more than just trying to land a job. Even if you are not a senior student, attending career fairs are beneficial to you for the following reasons:

  • Investigate organizations, positions and career fields.
  • Increase your chances of interviewing with an employer.
  • Receive sound career and job search advice from seasoned company recruiters.
  • Develop your network of contacts
How to prepare

Talking to a company recruiter might be daunting to some but getting your groundwork done before the meeting can help alleviate the anxiety. Your groundwork can also help provide some good talking points with the recruiter.

Research Employers

Review the list of organizations that will be attending the fair; visit the organization's website.

Update Resume

Develop a resume that reflects your most current accomplishments, skills, and experiences. Print an adequate supply of your resume. If you are considering positions in a few areas you may need more than one version of your resume.

Sign up for Husker Hire Link

Some career fair employers will use Husker Hire Link to arrange on-campus interviews. Hundreds of other opportunities are listed by employers not attending the career fair.

Practice Introducing Yourself

Prepare a 20 to 30 second introduction to use with employers. For example:

"Hello. I'm (your name), a junior in Communication Studies and Marketing. I'm looking for a summer marketing internship. I read that your organization has an internship in your corporate marketing department, and I would really like to learn more about this program."

Consider What you will Wear

If you are exploring job opportunities, you should dress in professional attire. Otherwise, business casual is appropriate. You can also download the dress code quick guide chart here.

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At the Fair

Talking to a company recruiter might be daunting to some but getting your groundwork done before the meeting can help alleviate the anxiety. Your groundwork can also help provide some good talking points with the recruiter.

Get Organized

Obtain a career fair directory at the check-in table. Use a simple portfolio to keep your resumes clean and ready. Store your coat and backpack before entering the fair.

Find Your Employers

Review the directory to find the location of the organizations you wish to meet. The fair directory may be posted on the event webpage prior to the event.

Approach with Enthusiasm

Approach employers with a good handshake, eye contact and plenty of enthusiasm and interest.

Leave a Copy of Your Resume

Distribute your resume and get a business card from a representative at each organization that interests you.

Have an Open Mind

While you may have specific employers on your list to speak with, if you have extra time, or have to wait to speak with an employer, take advantage of the opportunity to talk with others. You might discover an excellent opportunity you otherwise would have missed.

Special Tips for Education Fairs

As you register, pick up a list of known vacancies; last minute vacancies will be posted nearby. Most schools will conduct informal interviews at their booths while some may do formal interviews in a more private area. Be prepared to wait in line at certain times of the day and with certain schools. Be patient and maintain your smile even when feeling frustrated.

Do not expect to be offered a contract at the fair, and if you are, let the recruiter know that you would like an on-site visit before making a decision or signing any document. Most schools will conduct an on-site interview before deciding on a specific candidate.

A note on Hard Copy Resumes

Some employers cannot accept hard copy resumes and will ask you to apply online in order to comply with federal regulations about data on applicants. While this can be frustrating, it does not mean the employer is not interested or does not really have opportunities available. In some cases, employers may provide career fair attendees with an identifiable code for future applications.

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Post Fair Follow Up

Within two weeks of the fair, make follow-up contact with employers you are most interested in via e-mail or letter. Employers may leave a career fair with hundreds of resumes, and less than 10% ever follow up. This is an excellent opportunity to stand out.

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