Conquer the Career Fair

It’s that time of year again! Company representatives rom all over the region will be visiting campus. While that might sound intimidating, they’re actually pretty fun. You just have to know how to maneuver through the sea of potential.

There are a few things to remember when it comes to preparing for the career fair. The first step is to figure out what day the career fair for your college will happen. Then, figure out if the fair will be in person or online. Both of those pieces of information can be found on our It’s nothing but smooth sailing from there!

See Who’s Coming

When you get your dates in order, visit Handshake figure out what companies will be attending. It might not sound important but doing so can help you narrow down who you want to talk to. As you do your research, visit their website, and see how they align with your personal values and goals. Do they do any philanthropy? What opportunities do they have for growth? Do they value community? All of these are important questions to consider as you prepare for the fair.

Come Prepared

This includes a few different things. First and foremost, you should make sure to look the part. It’s a professional setting, so dress professionally. If you need help putting together a good outfit, visit Truman’s Closet. It’s a great on-campus resource that allows you to borrow business looks free of charge.

Second, make sure to update your resume and social media. Believe it or not, looking good online and on-paper are just as important as looking good in-person. Make sure that both are up-to-date and indicative of your personal brand. We recommend beefing up your LinkedIn with your experiences and a professional photo.

Lastly, come with questions. Nothing is more attractive to a hiring manager than a potential employee who knows their stuff. While you research the company’s website, make a list of questions for them to answer. Try writing down some important facts and bring them up later in the conversation, too.

Have an Actual Conversation

Speaking of conversation, make sure to minimize nerves when you speak to the interviewer. Easier said than done, right? If you think of them as intimidating, then you’re bound to trip over your words and make a lasting, awkward impression. Take a deep breath and pretend you’ve known them for years, instead.

Once you’ve cleared your body of that anxiety-inducing image, communicate your value! Tell them about your experiences and your values. Answer their questions with examples from your time at college. Then, ask them questions about their experiences at the company. These career fair conversations shouldn’t be one-sided.

Don’t Forget to Follow-Up

If you did it right, you should leave the career fair with a handful of business cards. (If your career fair was online, you’ll probably only have a name.) Connect with the hiring managers through LinkedIn and send them a follow-up message, or shoot them an email. It’s a good way to keep yourself top-of-mind for the position, and even gives you a chance to further explain how you’re the best candidate. Plus, it’s just courtesy.

Remember, you’re not alone here. The Career Center exists as your one-stop-shop for all career-based needs, from resume tips to counseling. All you have to do is ask!