Career Fair Preparation and Etiquette

Career fairs provide you with an opportunity to make face to face contact with many employers/organizations.  At some fairs you also have the opportunity to interview for open positions.  XPD - Experience & Professional Development sponsors a number of career fairs throughout the year and encourage you to attend those that meet your career interests and goals.

Before a Career Fair

  • Meet with XPD staff to discuss your strategy and preparation for the fair.
  • Review the list of participating organizations and their positions.  Determine which ones are of interest.
  • Research the organizations that interest you by visiting organization websites.
  • Prioritize your organizations of interest.
  • Prepare resumes for the organizations and positions that interest you.
  • Develop an introductory statement to use as you meet employers.
  • If you'll be interviewing at a fair, work on your interviewing skills by visiting with an XPD Career Coach and/or participating in practice interviews.
  • Review your strengths, skills, goals, and interests and consider how they relate to the positions available.  Be prepared to promote your suitability for the position and to express your interest.
  • Develop a list of questions for the employers that interest you.
  • Dress professionally; wear proper career fair attire.

At a Career Fair

  • Obtain a map of the facility and determine where your target organizations are located.
  • If you are pressed for time, approach your priority organizations first to ensure that you will have a chance to speak to them.  However, if an organization has a long line of candidates, visit other key organizations and return later.  If this is your first fair and you are nervous, you might start with some of your lower priority organizations to become comfortable with the process.  Move onto your higher priority organizations as you gain more confidence.
  • Be assertive.  Approach employers, extend your hand, and introduce yourself.  Be prepared to carry the conversation and ask questions.  Employers will want to see how you handle yourself and how you utilize your interpersonal communication skills.
  • Provide organizations with 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 business card so you can follow-up later with a thank-you note.
  • Thank recruiters for their time.

After a Career Fair

  • Write thank you notes to recruiters from companies that are of particular interest to you.
  • Follow-up on leads by calling the recruiter if you haven't heard from them within two weeks.