Here are some helpful tips on how to work a Career Fair!
Regardless of major, academic year or future goals, here are benefits of attending a career fair:
- Increase your chances of receiving an interview with an employer.
- Expand your network of contacts.
- Investigate positions, occupations and career fields you could pursue with your major and background.
- Learn more about employers/available positions.
- Receive sound job search advice from seasoned company recruiters.
What to expect at a career fair
Having realistic expectations of a career fair is important in succeeding in your career search. This is a list of common career fair expectations:
- Employers expect you to be prepared (dress professionally, ask thoughtful questions, have a polished resume, etc.).
- Employers expect to interact with students simply researching careers and employers, as well as those seeking employment.
- Your goal should be to land an interview—not a job offer. Most recruiters are not authorized to hire candidates on the day of the fair.
- You should expect to have a relatively short amount of time to sell yourself and make a positive impact on the employer. Employers’ goals are to be exposed to as many job candidates as possible.
Attending a career fair for the first time can be a little overwhelming. However, if you prepare, you will get as much out of the event as you put into it.
Before the fair
Simply attending a career fair is not enough; make your participation count by preparing purposefully!
- Target Your Top Companies/Organizations. A list of companies/organizations who will be attending is available at career.ucsb.edu. Take this list and plan your strategy for which companies you would like to visit.
- Research the organizations in which you are most interested.
- Prepare a resume that is well-written and error free! Make sure you have multiple copies of both your resume and list of references on hand.
- Create a list of questions you want to ask employers.
- Prepare to answer questions because employers will be asking them! You will be expected to think on your feet, so be prepared to answer their questions.
- Brush up your personal appearance. At least a week before the career fair, get a haircut and make sure your suit is appropriate, fits, and is clean.
- Arrive early to avoid long lines and catch all employers as some will leave before the career fair has ended. As you arrive, be polite to people in the parking lot, hallway, or restroom – pretty much anyone could be a recruiter.