Career Fair Preparation and Etiquette

Career fairs provide you with an opportunity to make face to face contact with many employers and organizations.  At some fairs you also have the opportunity to interview.  

Before a Career Fair

  • Review the Fair Prep module in XPD's Canvas course.
  • Consider meeting with XPD staff to discuss your strategy.
  • Identify and research organizations and positions of interest.
  • Prepare and tailor resumes for opportunities of interest.
  • Develop an introductory statement (ie elevator pitch) to use as you meet employers.
  • If interviewing at a fair, practice your interviewing skills by meeting with an XPD Career Coach.
  • Develop questions for the employers that interest you.
  • Dress professionally.

At a Career Fair

  • Obtain a map of the facility and determine where your target organizations are located.
  • Depending on how long you'll be at the fair, create a plan for either visiting your priority organizations first or meeting with some lower priority organizations first to become comfortable with the process. Continue with your higher priority organizations as you gain more confidence.
  • Be assertive.  Approach employers and introduce yourself.  Be prepared to carry the conversation and ask questions.  Employers will want to see how you handle yourself and interact with others.
  • Provide a copy of your resume and describe how you would be a good fit for the position and the organization.
  • Collect organization information for further research.
  • Ask the recruiter for their contact information so you can follow-up with a thank-you note.
  • Thank recruiters for their time.
  • Consider finding a location to document any notes and follow-up instructions.

After a Career Fair

  • Write thank you notes to recruiters from companies that are of particular interest to you.
  • Follow-up on applications and any leads by contacting the recruiter within 1-2 weeks.