How to Prepare for a Job & Internship Fair
Success at a Job & Internship Fair requires advance preparation. You'll need a top-quality resume, knowledge about the employers attending the fair, a game plan for your day, and, of course, your professional attire! CDC has many resources that can help you put your best foot forward at a fair, so take some time to consider:
A great resume is a must! Your resume needs to be more than a long list of jobs and tasks; it needs to reflect that you have the skills employers seek. Our advice: utilize CDC's resume writing resources (that means READ them and then REVISE your document), then bring your resume in for a review during Counselor-on-Call hours (posted on our homepage). Keep in mind, you're not the only student planning on attending a job fair and CDC will get very busy in the days leading up to these events. Visit us early to ensure you get the assistance you need!
The 30-Second Commercial. The Elevator Pitch. AKA: "What do I say to an employer at a fair?" Preparation for these events can't stop at writing a resume and putting on a suit. You also need to know, and practice, what you'll say to employers once you're at the fair. CDC has tips for that as well in our Perfecting Your 30-Second Commercial Quick Reference Guide (30.3 kb pdf). If you're struggling with articulating your skills, either on your resume or in person, review our Transferable Skills Quick Reference Guide (35 kb pdf) for pointers.
Have a "game plan"!Job & Internship Fairs can be overwhelming - in addition to hundreds of attendees, employers frequently bring several representatives. The resulting noise and crowds can be distracting you if you haven't prepared in advance. Our advice: review the list of employers attending the fair well in advance, educate yourself on who they are and what types of positions they have available, then make a priority list. For more tips on how to prepare for a fair, read our How to Make the Most of a Job & Internship Fair Quick Reference Guide (30 kb pdf).
Dress appropriately and make a good first impression! When meeting someone for the first time it takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you. The other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed. Dress to impress. To learn more about making a good impression read our Presenting Yourself Professionally guide (69 kb pdf).
Update your eRecruiting account!Many employers will be using eRecruiting to collect resumes and cover letters for future interviews. Be sure to log into your account (every matriculated student has access to an account!) and update your profile with current GPA, major and graduation date information, plus upload a current resume. While in there, take the time to review job/internship postings - especially from those employers attending the fair!
The CDC hosts multiple programs on helping you be your best at a fair, whether that is crafting a resume, making a great impression, or figuring out what to say in your 30-second commercial. Attend these programs to enhance your job search strategies and skills so you can best position yourself to obtain a good job and embark on a rewarding career.
To have your resume reviewed, bring a hard copy of your resume to the CDC and meet with a counselor during Counselor-on-Call hours:
- Monday: 11:00am to 3:15pm
- Tuesday: 11:00am to 3:15pm
- Wednesday: 12:30pm to 3:15pm
- Thursday: 10:00am to 12:45pm
- Friday: 10:00am to 12:45pm