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10 Steps to a Successful Career Fair

Career fairs are a great way to build your network, learn about opportunities in your field, and to practice interview skills and build confidence. Whether you are a new student at Roosevelt, a graduating senior, or Roosevelt alum, you can benefit from attending a job fair. Download our Internship and Career Fair Preparation Guide.

The following are 10 easy steps to help you make the most of your job fair experience.

1) Know Yourself

  • Do not ask employers “what jobs do you have for me?” YOU need to be prepared to present yourself and your skills to the employer and talk about the type of jobs that interest you.
  • If you do not have a career objective, talk to a career counselor who can help you identify the appropriate next step in your career.

 2)   Prepare an Excellent Resume 

  • A resume is a marketing tool that tells the employer why you are qualified to do the job you are applying for. It should be brief and tailored to the position you are seeking.
  • Be aware that some employers may not take your resume and will ask that you apply online instead.
  • For additional resume assistance, see our website for a resume guide and samples and make an appointment to see a career counselor to have it reviewed. 

 3)   Prepare and Practice Your “Elevator Speech”

  •  An elevator speech is a brief introduction to who you are, what you do, and why the employer should be interested to learn more about you.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

 4)   Know the Career Fair Layout and the Employers Attending

  • Obtain a list of employers that are planning to attend the fair. This can be found on-line in the Career Central “Events” tab, as well as at the Registration Desk at the Fair.
  •  Research these organizations to find out what they do and if they are an appropriate match for you. Identify the top organizations that you would like to connect with while at the fair. 

 5)   Prepare Questions

  • Show that you have done your homework and research the company. Don’t ask basic questions that you should have found through personal research.
  • Think about something thoughtful that you would like to know that will demonstrate your knowledge of the field and organization. Do not ask about salary. 

6)   Be Prepared for the Day

  • Have plenty of resumes printed on quality white or cream paper. Bring a small folder or briefcase to carry your resumes and any materials that you collect.
  • Determine what else you may need to bring by talking to the Office of Career Development or professionals in your field.
  • Find out when the fair starts/ends, and where it is located. Arrive early; you may have to wait in line to talk to employers.

7)   Dress Professionally

  • Dress as you would for a formal job interview. (No jeans, no sweats,) A suit or slacks or skirt and a button down shirt are appropriate. Limit jewelry, make up, and perfume or cologne. When in doubt, go conservative. Avoid low necklines or provocative attire.

8)   Make the Most of Your Career Fair Time 

  • Bring your energy and a positive attitude. Make every interaction count.
  • Present with a strong handshake, a bright smile and your elevator speech.
  • Ask engaging and appropriate questions about the organization or the position.
  • If you are interested in their opportunities, do not be afraid to express it.

 9)   Get Contact Information and Follow Up

  • At the end of each conversation, get a business card and employer materials.
  • Before you finish your conversation, ask about the next step in the recruiting process, and note the next steps on your business card, brochure, or note pad.
  • Walk away from the table and take time to make notes from your conversation.
  • Follow up with a brief thank you note or email. It is a good way to catch employer attention and reinforce your interest.

10) Relax and Be Yourself

  • A job fair is a great way to network and connect with others in your potential field. Take this chance to meet some new people and learn about the exciting positions that are out there. 

Job fair resources: