Do’s and Don’ts

DO:

  • Have a specific strategy for maximizing your time at the event
  • Pre-register for the event
  • Attempt to get the list of attending companies before the career fair
  • Attempt to research each company you hope to interview with at the job fair.
  • Prepare a one-minute “commercial” that focuses on the unique benefits you can offer the employer
  • Be prepared for a few common interview questions
  • Be prepared to talk about your work experiences, skills, and abilities
  • For college students, be prepared for a question about your GPA by some recruiters (use the GPA—overall, college, major—that makes you look the strongest)
  • Have a few questions prepared for each recruiter
  • Say the recruiter’s name several times during your conversation
  • Get a business card from each recruiter
  • Remember all the keys to successful interviewing, including a firm handshake, a warm smile, eye contact, and a strong voice
  • Bring enough copies of your resume to the career fair
  • Bring different versions of your resume if you are searching for different types of jobs
  • Take advantage of the time you have to build rapport with each recruiter
  • Dress professionally
  • Ask about the hiring process of each company
  • Take the initiative and ask about the next step in the process
  • Follow-up with each recruiter. Some experts say to call and leave a message on their voicemail right after the job fair, but at a minimum you should send each recruiter a thank you letter

DO NOT:

  • Eliminate companies because they are recruiting for positions outside your field; take the time to network with the recruiter and get the name of a hiring manager for your particular career field
  • Just drop your resume on the recruiter’s table and walk off
  • Be afraid or intimidated by the recruiter; he or she is there to do a job—to meet and screen potential candidates
  • Ask questions that any good job-seeker should already know, such as “What does your company do?”
  • Forget to eliminate bad habits such as playing with your hair, chewing gum, fidgeting, rocking from side-to-side, acting distracted, rubbing your nose, etc
  • Use filler words such as “um”, “like”, “you know”
  • Ever just walk up to a booth and interrupt a current conversation; wait your turn and be polite
  • Waste the opportunity to network, not only with the recruiters, but with fellow job-seekers and other professionals in attendance at the career fair
  • Say anything negative to the recruiter about your college or previous jobs, companies, or supervisors
  • Ask too many questions about salaries, vacation time, and other benefits