Working the room at a career fair

Posted on January 03, 2020

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Making an entrance

Never just “show up” at the UNCG Career Fair. Take time to prepare. Create an account in Handshake.  After your account has been created, you can access details on employers that will attend the career fair.

Create a game plan and research the companies.

Make a list of the companies you plan to talk to.  Identify your top “target companies” and make sure to speak with them first at the job fair.

Tip: If you are nervous, visit one or two companies to practice your elevator speech and conversation with recruiters. Then visit your “target companies”.   

Find Spring 2019 Career Fair information here.

What should you bring to the career fair?

Update your resume and bring copies with you to the career fair.  Bring a padfolio or a notebook to take notes. Come prepared with questions to ask employers. Practice your handshake and elevator pitch.  Be confident when approaching recruiters.

Dress to impress.

Wear appropriate professional business attire. Wear comfortable professional shoes as you will be on your feet and walking for several hours. You do not want to be uncomfortable or look uncomfortable as you are talking with company recruiters.

Leave them wanting more!

Recruiters see hundreds of students at each career fair. Give them a good reason to remember you and want to follow up. Be prepared and informed. As soon as recruiters hear, “So, what does your company do?”, they know you haven’t put in the work.

Attending a career fair is not a team sport!

Practicing handshakes and elevator pitches with friends is a great way to get ready before the big day. However, the fair is your opportunity to stand out. Give company representatives your full attention. You will only have a short time with each recruiter – make the most of it.

Each time you speak with a company representative look them in the eye, offer a good handshake, speak clearly and show them you have researched their organization. If you are interested in more information or applying for a job, make sure you have those details before you walk away.

Let the recruiter know you are motivated and ready to work.

Do you clearly understand the next steps? Be proactive, ask.

  • Should I follow up with an email? When?     
  • When do you expect to move forward in the interview process?    
  • Can I provide additional information that would be helpful?

What’s Next?

You made it through the big day and are ready for the interview requests to roll in! Time to get organized. Gather all the information you collected at the fair and make notes. They will be helpful when preparing for interviews.

Email a personalized thank you to any recruiter who shared contact information. Ensure that your voicemail is set up and that your outgoing message is professional. Give your social media another look! If you were a recruiter, would you be impressed with what you see?

Your interview starts at the Career Fair and continues until your first day on the job! Work hard, use the professional development skills you learn in the Bryan School, and give the recruiters a good reason to remember you!

Bonus Tip: Watch alumna Glynis Bell demonstrate the right way to dress to impress!

Written by Graduate Student Professional Development Specialist Megan Parker and Employer Relations Specialist Bramley Crisco.


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