Are you planning on attending the Spring Career Fair on April 19th, 2023? Whether you’re looking for potential jobs or internships, looking to network with employers, or simply browsing options, the Career Fair is a great opportunity for you to start your career exploration. No matter what your goals are, here are some tips on making the most out of your time at the Career Fair.
Before the Career Fair
- Make a list of employers you’re interested in. When registering for the Career Fair on Handshake, check out which employers are attending, and create a list of those you are interested in. When you enter the fair, you’ll know exactly who to speak with to ensure you make the most out of your time at the fair. We will also provide a map of employers, so it is helpful to know which ones are of interest to efficiently navigate the fair.
- Do your research. After creating your list, look deeper into the company’s background. Check out their Handshake profile and website to get an overview of their company, student reviews, and open opportunities. Not only will this help you gauge if the company aligns with your interests and goals, but will also show your enthusiasm and preparedness when you speak with them at the fair.
- Develop a list of questions to ask employers. Once you’ve done your research, prepare a list of questions to ask each employer about their company culture, professional development opportunities, mentorship opportunities, and anything else that you’d like to know more about.
- Prepare an elevator pitch. With so many people attending the fair and so many employers to interact with, it helps to prepare a one-minute elevator pitch about yourself that will introduce who you are, your skills and experience, and your career goals and interests. It’s a succinct way of sparking an employer’s interest in you and to prompt further conversation.
- Prepare and print your resume. It’s great to have multiple hard copies of your resume prepared to provide to employers at the fair. Make sure to edit, update, and proofread your resume in advance to showcase your education, experience, skills, and all your other accomplishments. Feel free to make an appointment at the Career Center to get more feedback or attend their Resume Workshop during the Career Fair Prep Week To gain insight on resume best practices.
- Dress to impress. First impressions are important when seeking professional opportunities, so opt to dress in business casual attire to maintain a neat and professional appearance. Browse the Career Closet to try on new or gently used professional clothing that is free of charge and yours to keep! Located both in the Lincoln Park and Loop campuses, access the closets with your Student ID and pick out an outfit.
During the Career Fair
- Come prepared. Bring your notes on the potential employers you want to speak with, your list of questions, and several copies of your resume. Have a notebook to take notes about your conversation and any contact information.
- Approach and network with employers. Introduce yourself with confidence and enthusiasm and start a conversation with the employer about your interest in their company and your career goals and interests. Ask questions and be prepared to give your elevator pitch when appropriate. Don’t forget to offer your resume and ask for contact information and/or a business card.
- Make observations. If you are early in your job search journey or are intimidated by the large event, you can still make the most of your time by observing how other attendees are engaging with employers. As you browse tables, listen in on what employers are saying and make observations on how others are introducing themselves. You can use these observations in the future or begin approaching employers right then.
After the Career Fair
- Send a follow-up email. If an employer shared their contact information with you, reach out to them within 24-48 hours thanking them for their time and that you enjoyed speaking with them. Include specific information about what you discussed and what interested you, and let them know what your next steps are (i.e. applying to a specific job) or any questions you may have.
- Follow employers on Handshake and on LinkedIn. Following potential employers that you clicked with during the Career Fair is a great way of staying in touch with them and building your network. You can receive notifications on new job or event postings, and there’s a better chance for them to view your profile, as well.
Need help drafting your resume or elevator pitch, preparing for the Career Fair, or any other career-related inquiries? Join us for our Career Fair Prep Week Resume and Strategies Workshops or schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor or Ambassador on Handshake or by calling the front desk at (773) 325-7431 for all career-related questions and services.