So you’re at the career fair, what now? Here’s how to navigate the career fair.
STEP 1: TAKE A WARM-UP LAP
Walk through the fair to identify the location of employers you are interested in speaking with, and to observe the interaction between candidates and recruiters.
Know the order in which you would like to talk to employers. Consider speaking to your top employers when you feel confident and prepared.
After taking your warm up lap. Get in line to talk to the first employer on your list
STEP 2: TALK TO AN EMPLOYER
When your turn comes, walk up to the recruiter with smile and good eye contact, give a firm handshake, say hello, and introduce yourself.
At this point you may engage in some small-talk with the recruiter, if the recruiter takes a casual tone, it’s OK to engage in an informal chat.
Deliver your 30-second elevator pitch to the recruiter. Don’t get thrown off if the recruiter interrupts you for more information, just go with the flow. A conversation is even better than a one sided speech.
Ask questions about the organization and career opportunities. If you are interested in the position and company.
Ask the recruiter for a business card, thank them for speaking with you, and make plans to follow up.
Remember: Like any good conversation, your conversation with a recruiter will most likely NOT follow a fully predictable pattern. Try to relax when talking to recruiters and welcome tangents in your conversation.
After the career fair the recruiters will immediately start reading through the giant pile of resumes they collected from the career fair. Many recruiters will send out interview offers on the evening of the same day. Here’s what you need to do after the career fair.
STEP 1: SEND THANK-YOU NOTES
Send a short thank-you note to the recruiters who took time to talk to you that day.
Things to include in your note:
Statement of thanks
Personal element of your conversation with the recruiter (so they remember you)
Re-statement of interest in company/position
STEP 2: PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW OFFER
Keep your phone nearby and check your email regularly, particularly on the evening after the career fair.
If you get an interview offer, be sure to read up on how to ace you interview here on the CCO Blog.