What to do before, during, and after a Career Fair?
Using your time efficiently and wisely at any career fair is the key to success. To make the most of Career Fair, you must be prepared and organized. Otherwise, you may lose the opportunity to make a positive first impression or find out critical information. Consider your time at the Career Fair to be an interview time, and come prepared for it. Use this guide--the Career Fair Strategies for Success.
Making the most of the fair can be divided into 3 areas: Preparation, At the Fair, and Follow-up. The following are tips and suggestions to make your time at the fair more productive.
- Clarify your goals and know why the Career Fair can benefit you. (Are you looking for information to explore organizations and positions? Are you looking for a full-time job or internship?) Try preparing a list of questions and a list of employers with whom you would like to visit.
- Prepare a resume to give to employers. Come to Drop-In Hours to have your resume reviewed from Career Services staff.
- Prepare a 30 second to one-minute introduction to share with employers to demonstrate your knowledge of the organization and to express your interest in them. Think about how your education or experience relates to the organization's needs.
- Think of questions you would like to ask the employer. For example: What skills and abilities are most valued in your company? What is the work environment like? Do you hire summer interns? What advice do you have for me as someone interested in this career field?
- Order Your Own Business Cards - Business cards are a must for anyone who seeks employment - they're convenient, professional, and easy and cheap to order. How? Easy, go to Oregon State University Printing & Mailing and click on “Design Online.” Either log-in or create a new account and then click on “Catalog” and then OSU Business Cards for Students on the left hand side. They already have templates available for you and for a reasonable price. Business cards are really helpful and makes you look more professional.
Not sure what to include on your business card? Then check out this quick article which gives some good tips!
At the Fair
- Dress and look professional.
- Maintain good eye contact, shake hands firmly and speak clearly and concisely.
- Show enthusiasm and interest by asking pertinent questions.
- Present an organized and targeted resume.
- Greet employers on your own, not with friends.
- Don't hesitate to approach a representative or join a group already in progress.
- Feel free to take notes.
- Ask for the employer's business card and inquire as to how you should best follow-up with her/him.
- Ask for the name and number of the contact person within the organization.
- If you have received any special information or attention, send a thank you note!!!
- Take the initiative for effective, timely and appropriate follow-up.
Most importantly, have fun. Greet everyone with a smile and a firm handshake, and meet as many people as possible. Plan your time beforehand! If you have any questions, please visit the Career Services table in the foyer at the career fair.
Additional Information about Preparing for the Career Fair
- The Rules of Engagement: Impressing Campus Recruiters - Employers deploy recruiters to scout the best and brightest. Read these 7 campus recruitment essentials to make the most of their visits.
- Conquering the Career Fair - These days, it takes more then just showing up and looking good to win over an employer. Stand out at the next job fair with these preparation tips.