Attending a Job Fair can be an excellent opportunity for students to
network and investigate various career options. Effective preparation is
crucial for such an event, where it is important to make a positive
impression on employers. Pointers to assist students planning to attend
a Job Fair include:
The job search process is a scary and mysterious one for many students.
This is largely due to fear of the unknown, including questions about
what employers are looking for, what type of questions will be asked,
what jobs a student might be qualified for, how to start looking, etc.
The whole idea of making decisions about the future and then taking
action on those decisions can be overwhelming.
- Dress appropriately. Interview clothes are appropriate here,
including your best shoes. If you do not have a suit available, wear
your best pair of slacks with a dress shirt and tie (men) or a
conservative dress (women).
- Practice your handshake and your greeting. Prepare to introduce yourself
with a confident smile. Make eye contact.
- Rehearse answers to interview questions. Even if you do not attend a
formal interview during the Fair, you may be asked about your education,
future goals, reasons for choosing a certain career field, the type of
job you are currently seeking, etc. Advance practice is the best way to
maintain your composure in these situations. For a list of common
interview questions, contact the Career Development Center.
- Prepare several copies of your resume to bring with you. You can leave
your resume with employers, and ask that they be kept on file. Make sure
that these copies are error free, laser printed and on quality paper. If
possible, have your resume critiqued at the CDC prior to the Fair.
- Do your homework. Find out about the companies that will be attending
the Fair. A detailed list and description of the companies planning to
attend is available at the CDC.
Think about which recruiters you will want to meet with, and prepare
questions to ask
them. Get business cards from recruiters, and discuss how and when you
will follow up
with them. Send thank you letters promptly to reinforce your interest in
a company. Bring appropriate materials for writing notes, keeping business cards,
literature about the companies whose representatives you speak with,
etc. You will want to write down any important information you discuss
with a recruiter, and keep those notes with business cards for future
One of the best ways to get past this fear and resolve some of the
mysteries is to meet the challenge of job searching head on. Talk to
some employers. Ask some questions. Answer some questions about yourself
and your qualifications, etc. Stop procrastinating on that resume. Put
on that suit. Polish those shoes. Then walk over to the Job Fair. Who
knows? It may open a few doors...