A career fair is a networking event that connects college students with prospective employers, whether for a potential internship or an entry-level position. It is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about a wide variety of organizations and for employers to discover fresh, innovative talent.
With spring 2022 career fairs coming soon, the MJH Life Sciences™ recruitment team created a guide to having a successful career fair experience.
- Whether the career fair is virtual or in person, attendees should always look their best. Consider a career fair to be like an interview. You should not be coming from the gym or in weekend clothing. We recommend wearing presentable business casual attire such as blouses, button-down shirts, and dress pants.
Bring your resume
- In Person
- We recommend bringing a folder containing copies of your resume. The goal is to connect with an organization, so it is important to provide representatives with your information. Collect their pamphlets and contact information as well. Connections develop from actions taken after the career fair, so gather as much information as possible.
- Have a resume nearby in case you need to reference it during your conversation with the representative. At the end of the session, ask the representative for an email address or LinkedIn profile, so you can connect virtually afterward and forward your resume.
- In Person
- Whether the career fair is in person or virtual, be prepared to take notes. Organization representatives will be presenting useful information, such as job opportunities, application dates, and recruitment email addresses. Having a notebook or notepad will help in gathering important information.
Check out the company webpage beforehand
- Before the day of the event, career fairs will typically provide a list of participating organizations. We recommend researching the organizations you are interested in prior to the event. That way, you bring knowledge into potential conversations with representatives and can ask more tailored questions about an organization. Knowing about the organization demonstrates a higher level of interest, which can help you stand out to a representative.
Come with questions
- Before the career fair, reflect on what you are looking for from an organization as a potential intern or worker. What do you want out of a work experience? Once you determine what you want, develop questions around those expectations. For example, if you are looking for a paid internship, ask about compensation for the role. It is important to clarify that the opportunity aligns with what you want.
Follow up on LinkedIn
- The main objective of a career fair is to network, so prioritize building your network. Most representatives will be happy to provide you with their LinkedIn information, so be sure to ask for it. When sending a connection request, send the recruiter a note. Example: “Hi, this is Emily from the Rutgers Career Fair. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I am very interested in an internship opportunity at MJH. Look forward to connecting.”