Career fair success

Whether you are a first-year student exploring majors or a senior looking for your dream job, careers fairs are an amazing way for employers to meet you, for you to learn about careers, obtain information about organizations, and make connections that can lead to a job/internship.

Before the fair

Build your confidence

Be prepared to talk about yourself and tell your story! Employers want to know how you are qualified for their job/internship. Build your confidence by identifying your unique interests, strengths, skills and experiences. Get started here.

Rock your resume

Having a resume you are proud of is a must for career fair success! Update your resume and have it reviewed by a career coach. Here are some helpful tips.

Do your homework

Use Handshake and take a look at the list of employers attending the fair and the jobs/internship positions they are hiring for. Learning about the employer and their positions is a great way to determine what organizations you see yourself working for. Create a list of the organizations you are most interested in and spend your time at the career fair talking to them.

Dress to impress

Not sure what to wear? Do your research. Professional dress can vary by industry or from one company to another. A more creative environment may allow for bold statements, but many industries stick to the basics. Check out our Pinterest board for ideas.

During the fair

Take initiative

Employers are excited to meet you! Go up and talk to them. Show your enthusiasm and smile as you approach the table. It is common that employers will greet you by offering a handshake. Some alternatives to handshakes are nodding your head or waving.

Communication with employers is important to success at a career fair!

  • Be positive and confident in what you have to offer; don’t down play yourself.
  • Be clear and concise. You have limited time with each employer.
  • Show positive body language (Smiling, head nodding, open stance, eye contact).
  • Ask the employer for their business card/contact information.

What to bring to a career fair

  • Your resume. Bring enough copies for each organization you are interested in talking to and 5 more just in case.
  • A pen and notepad or leather pad folio for notes. You can even get a cool U of M one from the bookstore!
  • Your registration materials (if applicable)– payment or confirmation receipt, and directions to the fair.

After the fair

Send a thank you

Now that you have the employers contact information send a personalized thank you. Thanking employers for their time gives a nice and courteous touch.

Apply and follow-up

Apply to the jobs/internships you liked. When you apply make sure to write in the application who you spoke with. Also, send an email to the recruiter you met at the fair to let them know you applied. This will help your application move along!

We're here to help!

Schedule an appointment with a career coach or come to drop-in hours!