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Career and Internship Fair Checklist
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How to Prepare for a Career Fair
A career fair can be a great place to learn more about a career field, gather information on specific organizations, and establish professional contacts. Get the inside scoop- learn what employers said about JMU students at past career fairs, to help you prepare!
Preparation is a vital step in making the most out of a career fair:
- Clarify your goals. Why are you attending the fair and what do you hope to get out of it? Are you looking for a summer internship, or a full time position? Or are you simply exploring possible career options?
- Identify the organizations that interest you. It is a good idea to identify the organizations that you would like to talk to and prepare a list of questions to ask. Visit their website, and read up on the open position(s) so that you’ll be prepared.
>> Search Recruit-A-Duke for companies attending the Fair
- Know your strengths. Having self-awareness about your personality, interests, skills, and experience is essential preparation for your conversations with employers.
>> Self-Assessment and Decision-Making Services
- Bring your resume. If you are using the career fair as a part of your job search, you should bring several copies of your resume.
>> Writing a Resume
- Plan your visit. Since a career fair can be a very busy event, you want to be able to make the most of your time. Give some thought about how you will approach employers. You want to introduce yourself, demonstrate your interest in the organization, and be prepared to discuss your education and work experiences.
>> Questions to Ask Employers
Communication is an integral aspect of presenting yourself effectively. Because first impressions are so important, you want to pay special attention to how you present yourself to potential employers:
- Dress professionally. A suit is always the best choice for men and women if you want to look professional. For women, skirts or dresses should be at least to the knee, shoes should be closed toe, and wearing hose is best. Even if you are only using the fair to gather information, it is still a good idea to make a favorable impression by dressing professionally.
>> Dress for Success
- Present yourself in a professional manner. Similar to any interview situation, you want to demonstrate confidence in yourself as well as enthusiasm and interest for the organization. When introducing yourself to employers, maintain good eye contact and have a firm handshake.
>> Interviewing Tips
- Keep your resume in a convenient place. Have numerous copies of your resume in an easily accessible place so that you don't have to fumble around looking for copies as you are trying to introduce yourself.
Follow-Up is a final and critical step in making the most out of a career fair. When you have finished talking to a representative, here are a few things that you should remember to do.
- Ask for contact information. Ask for the business card of the person with whom you are talking. Also ask who you should contact within their organization after the event, and ask for that person’s contact information. Make sure that you have spelled names correctly.
- What's next? Ask each individual organization what is the best way to follow-up with them. Also ask for a time frame: how soon can you expect to hear from someone?
- Reconnect. After the event, send a thank you email to all recruiters that you spoke with; this can really set you apart from other candidates!
>> Writing Thank You's
Still have questions?
Contact the office of Career & Academic Planning at email@example.com, 540-568-6555, or visit us in Wilson Hall room 301. And check out our calendar for workshops and programs that will help prepare you for the event!
Career & Academic Planning staff will also be available during the fair to answer any questions you might have. Look for us at the registration desk at the front of the Festival Ballroom.