Career Fairs

 

Before the Career Fair:

  • Research the companies. Impress employers by your knowledge of recent developments as well as company background.
  • Know what you are going to wear. Business casual at least but a suit is always a good way to impress.
  • Have your résumé critiqued by the CCO.
  • Print copies of your résumé on résumé paper. Depending on the size of the fair, you may print more or less but 20 is a safe number generally.
  • Practice your personal introduction and be prepared to talk about yourself and how you could fit in with the employers at the fair.

During the Career Fair:

  • Get a map from one of the volunteers at the fair so that you know where you are going.
  • Talk to an employer who may not be on the top of your list first to relieve some of your nervousness.
  • Keep your extra résumés as well as portfolio and pens in a professional portfolio or bag.
  • Wait your turn to speak with employers and approach the employers with confidence.
  • You are expected to begin the conversation, so start your introduction!
  • Leave a résumé if you are interested in their opportunities.
  • Be sure to pick up a business card from the employer.
  • Once out of sight, make notes to help you remember specific employers. Note what you discussed so that your follow-up can be more personal.

Your Personal Introduction:

Definitely Include:  Name, tell them you are a student or graduate from SMC, year in school or graduated, your major, and pick something from the “Optional Inclusion” section below, and end with an engaging question.

Optional Inclusion:  Related past experiences, opportunities you are seeking (internship or full-time), and information you researched about the company.

A Few Engaging Questions to Ask During the Career Fair:

  • What traits or characteristics do you see as imperative for success in ______ position? 
  • Anything about recent activity within the company.
  • What about this company do you enjoy most?
  • What has your career path looked like to get into a position such as this one?
  • Is a graduate degree required for this type of work or advancement in this field?  If so, should I consider graduate school immediately or work a few years to gain experience?
  • As a junior, what types of experiences should I consider to be more prepared for this field of work? Are there any specific classes you suggest I should take?

After the Career Fair:

  • Organize your business cards and company information so you can review it later if needed.
  • Send a thank you email to the employers with which you really enjoyed speaking.
  • Be patient as it may take some time for the employers to begin their follow-up process.

Career Fair “Do’s”

  • Make eye contact
  • Give a firm handshake
  • Smile
  • Speak loudly and clearly (but not TOO loud!)
  • Speak with employers independently (don’t go everywhere with your friends)

Career Fair “Don’ts”

  • Chew gum
  • Carry around your backpack…be professional and have a nice bag of some kind
  • Interrupt the employer
  • Repeatedly say “Like” “Umm” “You know”
  • Twirl your hair, rock back and forth, etc.

Career and Job Fair Websites