Career Fair Tips for Candidates

Prior to the Career Fair

Plan to wear a professional outfit - first impressions are critical and lasting

  • Do not wear jeans, t-shirts, wrinkled clothes, sneakers, hats, mini skirts, active wear, tank/halter/sleeveless tops, low cut or tight fitting shirts.
  • Women - wear a suit, pants suit, blazer with skirt or dress, conservative color, no heavy jewelry or perfume. 
  • Men - wear a suit or a jacket & tie with slacks, conservative color, no heavy cologne or after-shave.

Prepare plenty of copies of your resume - more than you think you'll need

  • Have an attractive resume on good quality paper, using bold, underline, and bullets; we strongly suggest white or other neutral-color paper.
  • Check carefully for typos, spelling and grammar errors.
  • Have it critiqued at Career Services.
  • Keep the copies in a folder or portfolio at the event.
  • Some employers may also ask you to submit your resume through their company website for their specific type of applicant tracking system. This is a growing trend due to a requirement that employers who maintain contracts with the federal government that are over a certain dollar amount must report detailed recruitment. This data is most easily collected through employers' online applicant tracking system.

Familiarize yourself with the employers

  • Decide which employers you want to speak with and prioritize them.
  • Research, research, research - a list of participating employers is available on our website two weeks prior to each event.
  • Visit the employers websites

Market yourself

Develop an introduction to use when meeting employers at career days and other networking events.

At the Career Fair

Come early in the day - employers are at their peak and there is less competition

  • Bring a pen, folder or portfolio for your resumes, and perhaps a pad of paper.
  • Carry as little as possible (no coats or backpacks, etc.)
  • Turn off cell phones in the employer areas.

Approach employer representatives with confidence

  • Introduce yourself, make good eye contact, and offer a firm handshake.
  • Give the recruiter your resume and tell him/her about yourself and your career interests.
  • Ask questions about job openings/descriptions, the organization, application procedures, etc.
  • Collect business cards and employer literature.

Speak with as many employers as possible

  • Visit your top choices first. Avoid standing in a long line to speak with one recruiter when you could talk with 3 or 4 others in the same time period.

Don't Forget!

After the Career Fair, don't forget to send a thank you letter or email message:

Thank employers for their time at the career day. Restate your interest to those employers in which you are particularly interested.

Include a copy of your resume. Since most candidates will not follow up with employers after the career day, this will make you stand out.