Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Preparing for the Career Fair

With the Career Fair around the corner (February 19 11:00-3:00) it time that we should all start preparing! It is really important to prepare for the Career Fair in advance so you do not get overwhelmed. Here is a brief list of things that should ideally be completed before the Career Fair.

  1. Research
  2. Create a Target List
  3. Action Plan
  4. Ask and Answer Questions
  5. 30 Second Elevator Pitch
  6. Resumes
  7. Portfolio
  8. Punctuality
  9. Dress for Success


It is very important to research the event, employers, expected participants, and requirements to participate. At our Career Fair we have a dress code, be sure you prepare a business professional outfit ahead of time.

Create a Target List

Our website,, is constantly updated with a list of participants. Take a look at the list on a regular basis so you are aware of who will be attending. Then create a target list of the employers you wish to visit the most. It’s a good idea to look deeper into their company (website) to get a better understanding of who and what they are looking for. Rank each of these employers and make sure you visit everyone on your list while at the Career Fair. It is wise to visit an employer towards the bottom of the list first to get your nerves out and practice. When you feel comfortable go see the top employers on your list.

Action Plan

Create and action plan with goals of the Career Fair. It has been proven that when you write out goals you are more likely to achieve them. So go ahead, write out who you want to meet with and the outcome of each.

Ask and Answer Questions

Be prepared to ask the employers questions about their company and openings they may have. However, it is also necessary to expect questions back. Practice responses to questions that may likely arise.

30 Second Elevator Pitch

Practice and perfect your 30 second elevator pitch that you have created. For more information on what to include in your 30 second elevator pitch and more about it, view our 30 Second Elevator Pitch Blog!


It is recommended that you bring 10-25 well developed resumes to the Career Fair. To get an idea and help with resumes visit the Resume 101 series on the Blog. It is best that these resumes you bring have been critiqued. The CDC can critique your resume during walk-in hours (Tuesday-Friday 11:00-1:00) or you can set up a 30 minute appointment at a time more convenient for you. Visit our office at SAB 50, or call us at 206-6508


Bringing a portfolio containing resumes, pens, paper, networking cards, transcripts, and references is the best way to be sure you are prepared. Carrying around a portfolio also looks more professional than a purse or a backpack and allows you to grab what you need quicker and easier.


Arriving early to the Career Fair is one of the best decisions you can make. Not only does it look good that you are prompt and ready to go but the employers are more likely to remember the people they first meet and those that they last meet. However, it is unknown when an employer may choose to leave. They often stay to the end but at times get tired or have other business to attend to. So arrive early and make sure you get to see everyone!

Dress for Success

Dress attire is one of the most important pieces to a Career Fair. Showing up in a hoodie, jeans, flip flops or gym shoes does not give an employer a good representation of you and your abilities. You want to look more professional and business like than a college student. The Career Fair also has a dress code and only allows those dressed in business professional or business casual clothing in. For more ideas and tips on what to wear view the Dress for Success Blog.

Need help?

Stop by the Career Development Center. Walk-in hours are 11:00-1:00pm Tuesday-Friday. If this window doesn’t work for you simply call 206-6508 and set up a 30 minute appointment! We are located at SAB 50 or call 206-6508

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