Internship & Career Services

How to Work a Job Fair

Going to a job fair is a very efficient way to explore different organizations and can help you find a full-time position or internship. 

Preparation

  • Register for the fair, if necessary.
  • Obtain a list of the organizations and research and prepare questions for those that are of interest.
  • Review standard interview questions so that you are prepared to answer them clearly and effectively.
  • Prepare and practice a brief (30 seconds) "commercial" in which you will introduce yourself, describe your interest in the organization, connect your skills, interests, and relevant experience with what the company seeks, and present your resume.
  • Have your resume critiqued by ICS and bring several copies to the fair. You may also bring a portfolio to hold your resumes, letters of recommendation, references, and samples of your work (if applicable).
  • Be familiar with the fair location and parking. Bring money for food and the registration fee if needed.
  • Dress for success. Conservative business attire is always best.

During the Fair

  • Check in, if necessary, and obtain a copy of the layout of the room to locate companies.
  • Explore the fair on your own to avoid appearing too dependent upon your friends.
  • Always conduct yourself professionally because you never know when an employer may be watching.
  • Before approaching a company, review the information you gathered about the organization. Organize the materials you want to have available for that employer, and check your appearance.

Note: Be flexible with the order in which you visit employers. If you see a line forming, move on to another organization and return later.

  • When approaching the employer, wait patiently if there is another candidate ahead of you and conduct yourself courteously and confidently by smiling, establishing and maintaining eye contact and presenting a firm handshake when introducing yourself.
  • During the meeting:
    • Be interested and interesting, listen actively, speak clearly and confidently, and offer coherent, concise, and honest responses to the employer's questions.
    • Maintain your professionalism. Even though a job fair is a more relaxed atmosphere than a formal interview, it is still part of the interview process.
    • When the interview is wrapping up, ask the employer for his/her business card, if you may follow up with the employer and, if so, when. Be sure to thank them for their time.
  • After the meeting, note the items you discussed, any interesting information you learned, follow-up information and any other information that may be helpful later.

After the Fair

  • Send thank you letters to the employers within one week. Mention something specific that you discussed to make sure they remember you. Thank them and express interest in a formal interview.