Top Tips to Prepare for an In-Person Career Fair

Our Spring 2024 In-Person Career Fair is just around the corner, and we wanted to highlight some ways to prepare. You can drop into a Career Lab to get your resume critiqued and get advice on participating in the fair from both our career fellows and our advisors.

Top Tips for an In-Person Career Fair

⭐Research Employers Ahead of Time

We will be hosting 100+ employers at the fair – that’s a lot of booths to visit! You may not have much facetime every single employer, so consider perusing the list of attending companies ahead of time. Take note of several employers you are eager to connect with, and prioritize stopping at those booths. Take some time before the fair t0 research your favorite participating companies and come up with a question or two to ask that could make you stand out among the crowd.

⭐Write an Elevator Pitch

Unlike a large group information session, in-person Career Fairs give students the opportunity to talk face-to-face with employers and leave a lasting impression.  A good elevator pitch (a.k.a short introduction of yourself) should last around 30 seconds and touch on a few key pieces of information about you — who you are, why the employer appeals to you, and a relevant skill/experience or two.  Here’s a blog post with more info and examples.

⭐Explore Unfamiliar Options

Career Fairs aren’t just for networking with target employers — they are also a great opportunity to expand your horizons and consider opportunities you may never have thought of. Take the time to stop at the booths of companies you may be unfamiliar with, as you may be surprised at what they have to offer! Make sure you bring your phone with you to the fair — many employers will display QR codes that link to more information about their businesses. You should also grab a business card if provided!

⭐Dress Professionally to Make the Best Impression

Plan to dress professionally for the Career Fair. Review proper attire for MenWomen, and those beyond the binary. Business casual attire is generally appropriate for Career Fairs, unless you’ve been instructed differently. You may note some career fair or interview attire guidelines portray traditional gender roles: Remember, you are the final judge of what will work for you. Job seekers should dress professionally for the gender they would choose to present at work, or in gender-neutral attire. The most important consideration for appropriateness of attire is that clothes be professional, fit well, and be consistent with organizational culture. You may also want to consider wearing an outfit that will look good on camera — there will be a professional photo booth at the career fair, and we encourage students to get a shot taken for their LinkedIn profile!

⭐Follow up

After the fair is over, follow up with employers who left a lasting impression on you. If you received a business card, consider sending a quick thank you note to those who took the time to connect with you. You can also search for a company on Handshake and “follow” them to be alerted to any upcoming coffee chats, job opportunities, or on-campus interviews the company has coming up.

See you at the in-person fair!