Ames EDC

8 Tips for Finding Success at the Career Fair

Posted on September 18, 2019 at 9:00 AM by Guest Writer Guest Writer

Written By: Logan Crittenden, Marketing and Public Relations Intern, Ames Chamber of Commerce

As every student knows, attending the career fair can be important for finding the perfect summer internship or dream job, so what steps can you take to ensure that you’re ready?

Here are 8 tips to help you succeed at your next career fair:

1. Do your research

Before you head over to the fair, you’re going to want to know what companies are going to be there. Take an inventory of the organizations that you are most interested in speaking with and do a little research on their company. This will demonstrate your interest to the recruiter.

2. Sharpen your resume

If you still have your job as a high school lifeguard on your resume, it might be time for an update. Ask a friend or a professor to look over your resume to give you advice. You can even make a few versions of your resume that might appeal more to different industries or employers. 

3. Practice your elevator pitch

Being prepared with a 30 second elevator pitch can go a long way. Almost every recruiter is going to want to know the basics: your name, major, and what you’re interested in doing, so it’s important to be able to summarize all of this in an eloquent and memorable way. 

4. Dress up

Dressing up is a simple, yet effective way to display your professionalism and interest. Wearing dress pants, a suit, and a tie will convey a sense of importance and confidence. Unless your personal brand commands that you wear fun and bright colors, wearing muted colors is probably the way to go. In general, the purpose of dressing up is so that you don’t stand out, because, let’s face it, everyone is going to be wearing their best.

5. Talk to everyone

If you still have time after you’ve spoken with all of the recruiters that you were previously interested in, don’t be afraid to go around and talk to any company. You might be surprised at what you will learn and the connections you can make. Ask them about their job and their company. Talk about your goals for the future, even if you don’t currently have an interest in working for them. You never know what might come out of a conversation.

6. Come with questions 

Bringing a few intelligent questions that you can shoot back at the recruiter will demonstrate your interest in the position. Remember, the career fair is also a great chance for you to interview the company and see what you might or might not like. Here are a few sample questions that you can ask:

  1. What skills are necessary to succeed in this role?
  2. What do you like about working for XYZ company?
  3. Do you offer employee development and education?
  4. What’s the culture like?
  5. When will you begin selecting candidates for interviews?

7. Take plenty of notes

Make sure you are taking time to step away and take notes about the people and conversations you’ve had. This also gives you the chance to recuperate and take a breath. Career fairs can be exhausting!

8. Follow Up

After the career fair is over, be sure to follow up with an email. Thank the recruiter for their time and for coming to the fair and remind the recruiter that you’re interested in the position. This will put you at the top of their mind and their list.

Following these simple steps will help set you apart as a job candidate. Have some tips not mentioned? We'd love to hear from you! List in the comments your favorite tips and tricks for success at a Career Fair. 

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