If you are planning to attend career fairs as part of your job search, take some time to prepare yourself in order to make a good first impression. If you have access to the list of companies that will be participating, spend some time researching the companies that interest you.
If you are not looking for job opportunities, think about what you want
to gain by attending and how it can help you in the future.
What does being prepared mean?
Dressing Appropriately. Attendees should be in business attire.
Business suits are nice but don’t panic if you don’t have one. If you do
not have business attire, be neatly dressed in khakis, a button down shirt
or a nice sweater. Dress shoes are a must.
- Men should wear dress slacks and a button down shirt. Include a tie
and jacket if you have one. Dress shoes should be clean and polished.
Shirts should be free of wrinkles – dry cleaning may be best.
- Women should wear slacks or skirt and a blouse. Include a jacket if
you have one. Make sure that your attire is not too tight or revealing.
Skirts should be slightly above the knee. Dress shoes should be clean
and polished. If you wear heels, make sure they are appropriate and
complement your outfit.
- Men & Women’s hair should be neatly groomed and in place. Nails
should be clean and at a reasonable length and your jewelry should be
modest and not too flashy.
Preparing Your Resume. Make sure that your resume is current and
free of errors. Keep your resumes in a folder to prevent smudges and
wrinkles. Your contact information should be current; steer clear of
inappropriate email addresses. Know what’s on your resume and be able
to speak to each item listed.
Introducing yourself. Be confident. Smile, make eye contact, and
deliver a firm handshake. Share your name, your major or educational
background and let recruiters know why you are there and what you are
seeking. Include a brief summary of your skills and the value that you
Communicating Your Interests. Be able to articulate why you are at
the fair and what you hope to gain from attending. That can be full time
job offers, internships, cooperative education assignments, and
opportunities to learn about different companies. Ask about available job
opportunities, application and hiring processes, and any additional
questions you have about their company. Be prepared to talk about the
type of work environment that interest you, preferred work hours, and
location preferences. Also, use this time to identify companies that may
be a fit for you.
Be conscious of the time spent with each representative and thank them
for their time.