Tips from Career Services on Preparing for Career Fairs
Research the employers that interest you the most by looking at the company web sites. Look them up on the web and learn more about their organization and what they stand for. For example, look up their mission, goals, and objectives so that you know what the company is about and what it is looking for in its employees.
Prepare a list of questions to ask employers (these can be questions that were not answered in your research or follow-up questions to information you did find). Gain confidence by practicing your questions out loud.
Know yourself: prepare a relevant 30-second personal introduction of yourself to highlight the skills and knowledge you are building and your areas of interest. Consider highlighting your strongest skills or your leadership experiences rather than just your major, particularly if it is not clearly related to your career goals. Provide concrete examples to back up your claims. Also, try to indicate why you want to work for that specific company.
Develop a strong resume by having it critiqued by the Career Services Office before the fair. Bring multiple copies of your resume to the career fair. Some of your resumes may have specific objectives for the companies you know you want to speak with, but might want to bring copies that do not have objectives to give to employers who catch your eye at the career fair.
Print your resume on high quality bond paper (resume paper, 20 lbs or more, cream color). Bring a portfolio or folder to keep copies of your resume in.
A cover letter is not needed for a career fair, as you cannot write a cover letter for each individual company that may be in attendance.
References are not needed for a career fair, further contact will lead to providing references.
Identify items that you want to carry to the event (resumes, portfolio or folder, bag for company literature/materials, pen).
You may want to walk around the career fair first and pick up literature; review it and then go back to speak with the employers. Warm up by talking with organizations in your “second tier” of interest first. Then approach your first choice employers.