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What you should do before a career fair


Check your school career center

Research to see if any events are coming up such as job fairs, career fairs, or workshops from employers that you are interested in. Mark your calendar for the date of any events you are interested in and mark the date that the registration opens. Also, research the format that events at the career fair will be in, such as if it is small group meetings, individual meetings, or large meetings with more of a lecture format than actually meeting the recruiters.


Research the companies that will be in attendance

Go through and make a list of which companies you are interested in potentially working for. Once you have your list, sign up for either a group or individual session for each of these companies. Make sure to write down your schedule for the day in your calendar. Next, it is important to research each of these companies and their product or service, and culture/values. Take a look at each company website and take notes on the key points, such as the mission statement, values, and take a look if they have any recent media articles posted on their website.


Make sure all your profiles are up to date


Update or create your LinkedIn and Jobshive profiles. Make sure that these profiles include any relevant job or internship positions you have had, leadership positions, your major, and your skills. Also, make sure that if your other social media accounts are public with your full name that they look professional. Don’t have photos of you partying all over social media, because if recruiters see this, they will most likely not want to hire you.


Prepare your resume

Make sure your resume is up to date and have a parent or friend read it over to check for typos. Some of the key things to be sure to include in your resume are your school, major, graduation date, internships, jobs, leadership positions, extracurricular activities, and skills.


Prepare a list of questions to ask

Having questions prepared is crucial in the event that there is silence during the meeting, or if there is extra time at the end. Asking questions about the company shows that you are interested in working there. Here are some sample questions to ask:


What do you like about working for __________?

What are the three most important skills for someone in this role?

What is a typical day like for someone who has this position?

What is your hiring process like for college hires?

What is the culture like at ________?

What is the best way to stay in touch with you?


Prepare your elevator pitch

This should be a short summary of yourself. Some of the things you can include in your elevator pitch are your year in college, your major, any internships you have had and your position, relevant work experience, leadership experience, and club involvement.

A good way to bring up your elevator pitch is to say, “Would you like me to tell you a little bit about myself?” It is important to practice saying this elevator pitch aloud as well so that you do not forget any information. Also, before the career fair, film yourself saying your elevator pitch a few times and watch it to see how you look and sound.


Test your camera and microphone

If the meeting will be via Zoom or a platform you often use for classes or have experience using, this should not be an issue. However, if you are using a platform you have never used before for a video meeting, be sure to check to make sure your microphone and camera work on that platform. Sometimes, even if your camera and microphone work on one video call platform,  it won’t work on a new platform.

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