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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Location: JMU Festival Conference & Student Center - Ballroom

On this Page:
Who's Coming

Check out floor maps (available closer to the event date) to see which employers are coming and where they will be located in the Ballroom. When you arrive at the fair, you will receive a paper copy of these maps, along with a list of recommended employers to visit, based on your academic major and the positions they are recruiting for. 

Looking up the employers and positions before you arrive will help you stand out from the crowd. It is also important to know which day your favorite employers are attending. For the most up-to-date and in-depth information about the employers and the positions they're recruiting for, go to the Fair's page on Recruit-A-Duke. 

Employers Attending the Fair:

  • Army Navy Country Club
  • AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
  • Boar's Head Resort
  • Bold Rock Hard Cider
  • Boy Scouts of America, Stonewall Jackson Area Council
  • Chesapeake Restaurants Chili’s
  • Chick-fil-A West Ocean City
  • Chick-fil-A X.C.C.L.
  • City of Harrisonburg Parks & Recreation
  • Cosmos Club
  • Crestline Hotels and Resorts
  • Cvent, Inc.
  • EcoLab
  • Endless Horizons
  • Fairfax County Parks & Recreation
  • Farmington Country Club
  • FLIK Hospitality
  • Great American Restaurants
  • Great Eastern Resort
  • Hershey Entertainment and Resorts
  • Hotel Madison
  • Jersey Mike's Subs
  • JMU Athletics
  • JMU University Recreation
  • Kettler
  • Luray Caverns
  • Marriott International
  • McDonald's: AP Boxley Organization
  • Modus Hotel Company
  • Mount Vernon Country Club
  • National Conference Services Inc. (NCSI)
  • Pinstripes
  • Red Lobster Restaurants
  • Salamander Resort and Spa
  • Shake Shack
  • SMI Hotel Group
  • Special Olympics Virginia
  • Star Restaurant Group, LLC
  • Sulgrave Club
  • The Blackburn Inn
  • Virginia Amateur Sports
  • Virginia Beach Hotel Association
  • Virginia Beach Travel/ Tourism Foundation
What to Expect

The purpose of a Career Fair is to learn about jobs and internships available, talk with employers representing different organizations, and network. Here are some things to expect:

  • When you check in at the Fair, you will receive a paper copy of the floor map, showing how organizations are arranged. Before beginning, decide which organizations you want to meet with, and make a plan of action. 
  • Some organizations bring several recruiters. Focus on one recruiter and be sensitive of their time, if it seems like they are wrapping up the conversation.


Possible interviews:


Some employers leave early:

  • Depending on an employer’s distance to travel home, they may leave a little earlier than the official end of the Fair.  
  • With that in mind, arrive at the Fair as soon as you can.

Check out our Career Fair Checklist for ways to prepare for the fair.


  • Recruiters will see a lot of students, and your resume is a paper representation of you and your experiences that recruiters will review at the end of the day to determine who to follow up with.
  • Bring at least 10-20 copies of your resume to the Fair.
  • Learn more about the basics of resume writing and ways to have your resume reviewed in the resume section of JMU’s Career & Academic Planning website.


Identify Organizations that Interest You:

  • Before the Fair it’s important to look up who’s attending and plan out who you’d like to speak with first.
    • Go to the Fairs page on Handshake to see a full list of employers. If the direct link does not take you there directly from the login screen, log in to Handshake, click on the "Career Events" dropdown, select "Career Fairs", and click on the Career & Internship Fair link.
    • Enter keywords in the search bar to explore employers and positions by major, industry, or other keywords.
    • Click on an organization name that interests you.
    • To see more detail about open positions from the organization, click the Career Fairs tab within the organization listing. 
  • Make a list of the organizations you would like to connect with at the Fair. When you arrive at the Fair, start with the organizations you’re already interested in, so that you don't run out of time. 
  • Take time to visit with organizations you haven’t considered yet. Employers are recruiting students who have the skills and personality that are a good fit for their organization.  The reality is, though they may not have included your major or interest area in their listing, they may be interested in what you could bring to the position. The organization may have more opportunities available than they’ve included in the Career Fair listing, so take time to network with different organizations and get the name of the hiring manager for jobs you’re interested in obtaining.


Download the Handshake app:


 Your Introduction:

  • You will only have a few minutes with a recruiter, so you want to prepare a succinct statement to introduce and sell your professional self.  
  • Include where you are now (your name, your academic programs, your year), where you have been (prior experiences that qualify you), and where you are going (the type of experience/position you are looking for).   
  • As the conversation with the employer progresses, you can also mention what excites you about working in this field or position, how your interests and skills align with what they might be seeking, or what you’re passionate about. Think about what might set you apart.
  • Need some practice? Record a video of yourself answering interview questions using our InterviewStream service online anytime 24/7.


Prepare Questions to Ask:

  • As you research organizations, write down your questions so you remember them at the Fair. You can use employer websites, CareerBliss, and Handshake to do your research. 
  • There’s nothing that makes you look less interested in an organization than not having any questions for them, so do your homework! 
  • Bear in mind that your questions should not make the employer feel "put on the spot". You are demonstrating your interest in the organization. 
  • This is not an appropriate time to ask questions about salary, but it’s a great time to ask questions about organization culture, training, and the selection process and timeline.  
  • Create your own questions, but here are some examples:
    • What kinds of skills and experience do you look for in the employees you hire?
    • Are graduate degrees important to advance within your organization?
    • Does your organization hire on a continual basis or during specific times of the year?
    • How many years does a typical entry-level employee stay with your organization?
    • Are there opportunities for ongoing training and professional development?
    • What made you choose to work for this organization? 
  • If you bring a written list of questions to the Fair, make sure to decide what you want to ask before you arrive at the employer’s booth, so that you can maintain eye contact throughout your conversation.


Dress Professionally:

  • Wear a suit if you have one, but if not don’t let that keep you from attending the Fair.  
  • You want to dress professionally and respectfully, which includes ironing your clothes. 
  • It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. 
  • If you have sweaty palms, bring a tissue to help keep your hands dry between handshakes. 
  • We provide space to drop off your coat, backpacks, or other items you don’t want to carry around. Look for signs for the coat check room in the Festival Center. 
  • Wear comfortable dress shoes, because you’ll be standing a while.  
  • Read more professional attire tips for men and women.


What to Bring:

  • You’ll want to have a padfolio, binder, or folder to keep your resume and prepared list of questions organized.  You can also store materials you receive from employers here.
  • Resumes (10-20 at least)
  • List of organizations, notes, and questions
  • Pen
  • Tissues
  • Breath mints; not gum
Talking with Employers

Employers send recruiters to the Career Fair who can speak to students about the organization and available positions. A recruiter’s job is to meet, recruit, and screen potential applicants, so don’t be intimidated. They want to talk with you. Many recruiters are also JMU alumni, which can be a point of connection. Here are some pointers for your conversations with recruiters. 

Introduce Yourself:

  • Offer a handshake, and maintain eye contact as you provide your introduction (as described above).

Listen to the Recruiter about organization and opportunities:

  • After you introduce yourself, the recruiter will describe and provide literature about their organization and opportunities.



  • The employer will expect that you ask questions, and they will ask you questions.
  • You want to demonstrate confidence, enthusiasm, and interest for the organization. Don’t say anything negative about previous employers or experiences in college.


Offer Resume:

  • Always introduce yourself before offering your resume.
  • An employer who attended one of our Fairs commented, “Students were walking around sticking out their resumes.” This shouldn't be the first thing you do, and should at earliest come after you’ve introduced yourself and listened to the recruiter about their organization and opportunities.  
  • Often an employer will ask you for your resume, but if not, you may still offer it after making a connection with the employer.


Before Leaving, Ask Employer:

  • For a business card or contact information.
  • The best way to follow up with them.
  • A time frame for their hiring process.


After the Fair:

  • Send thank you emails to recruiters that you spoke with if you are still interested in their opportunities.  This can easily set you apart from other candidates!
  • Develop an organizational system to track all of the recruiters and potential job leads you find at the Career Fair and in your job search in general.

JMU students attending this event should park in student lots with the appropriate permit in accordance with JMU parking regulations. 


If the university is closed or the opening of the university is delayed until 11am or later, the Fair will be rescheduled. If the university opens by 10am, the Fair will run as scheduled. In the event that the university closes during the day the event will be immediately canceled. For JMU cancellation information go to or call 540-433-5300.


Prior to the Fair, you can contact the Hart School’s Experiential Learning Coordinator, Jen Nelson at with questions. And check out JMU’s Career & Academic Planning (CAP) calendar for upcoming workshops and resume review opportunities to help you prepare. 

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