Career fairs are an excellent way to learn about jobs in your field of study or interest, meet employers and expand your professional network. If you prepare yourself for the career fair ahead of time you will make the most of your experience.
How to Prepare
- Prioritize employers you want to target - Check out the attendee list
- Make a check list of the employers you are interested to talk to and prepare for an informational interview - More about Informational Interviewing
- Prepare thoughtful and focused questions to show genuine interest in the organization - Few suggestions
- Check out their social media feeds, mission, vision and values, any upcoming projects that could add value to your conversation at the fair.
Let the Career Centre Help YOU!
Register for our upcoming "Preparing for Career Fair Success" workshops.
Not able to attend? Check out our workshop handouts
What to Prepare
Prepare Résumé to highlight specific skills you have to convince the fit. Don't know how? Take advantage of the Career Centre's services.
Business cards with contact information and LinkedIn profile make a great way to end a conversation with an employer. Learn how to build a great LinkedIn Profile
Presenting your skills and accomplishments in alternate ways, such as a blog, YouTube, or a website.
Get ready with a 30 second Career Pitch about yourself and your skills so that it flows naturally and articulately. Tips to get you started
"Hi, my name is Sun, I am an international student and recent graduate from Communication Studies program at York. I am passionate about journalism and I have experience working for a University newspaper as an editor for one year. I am currently seeking roles in my field where I can utilize my experience and education. What types of entry-level roles could you recommend for me?"
"Hello, my name is Sandreene, I am currently a 2nd-year student in the Human Resource Management program and I am eager to gain work experience through an internship next year. I am passionate about this field and aspire to be an HR generalist in the future. Can you tell me more about the internship program at your organization?"
"Good Afternoon my name is Jason, I have over 4 years of experience working in the not for profit sector as a Jr Job Developer and I am in the final year of my Sociology program. I am exploring my options after graduation to determine what I would like to do with my degree. What types of skills and experience do you look when hiring new grads?"
"My name is Charles, I am a recent graduate from Environmental Studies. I love working outdoors and have a passion for nature. Ever since I was young I was always committed to preserving the environment and was heavily involved in promoting sustainability on campus. I am excited about the possibility of joining a green company to start my career, I saw online that your organization is working on a new initiative, can you tell me more about that?"
During the Fair
Never been to a Career Fair before? Check this out: Fall Career Fair 2017
The overall presentation can say a lot about who you are and if you would be a good fit for an organization or industry! View interview Attire Handout
Keep in mind that 55% of any interaction is visual, meaning it is not ONLY what you say but how you look when you say it.
Be positive and confident! Sixty percent of an individual interaction involves nonverbal communication. This includes a firm handshake, eye contact, nodding your head, and most importantly - SMILING!
Before you leave an employer representative’s booth at the fair, inform them that you would like to continue the conversation by following up with them at a later date, and ask how they would prefer you to contact them after the fair (E-mail, LinkedIn, etc.), and whether there is anything they would like you to send to them.
Ask for their business cards so that you can promptly send a thank-you note. Having the business card of the representative you have just spoken with allows you to have a direct contact with the organization, including the proper spelling of the representative's name, direct telephone line.
Sending thank-you notes is a good professional habit. Find sample thank-you letters here
Keep Your Favourite last
It may be helpful to visit with your “favourite” employer LAST. Use other employers on your list to practice and become more comfortable in introducing yourself. Just don’t lose track of time!
After the Fair
Thank you Notes
Promptly send a thank-you note. Within 24 hours after the career fair, send a one-page, personalized and separate thank-you note to each and every one of the employer representatives you met.
E-mail or LinkedIn messaging are fine but follow formal business letter format; Thank you letters serve a variety of purposes such as:
- To demonstrate that you have good manners and are socially savvy
- To show appreciation for the employer representative’s time, information and interest in you
- To reiterate your interest in a specific opportunity and/or in a specific organization
- To review or remind the employer about your key qualifications or assets that would make you a good fit for a specific position or for their organization
If you forgot to mention something or want to clarify something discussed at the fair, you can briefly do so in your thank you letter.
Apply to Jobs
Personalize your applications for the job opportunities you are applying for based on the conversation you had with employers at their booths.