How to Work a Career Fair

The big Spring Career Fair is right around the corner!  March 14th from 1:30-3:30 in the Rotunda on the Dobbs Ferry Campus.  How ready will you be?

Attending your first career fair can be scary.  You walk into large room with hundreds of people, which can be very intimidating.  The more you prepare yourself ahead of time, the less stressed you will be.  This will allow you to focus on the hundreds of opportunities right in front of you!  So, I will try to keep this as simple as possible:

  1. PREPARE. Login to Career Maverick to see which employers are coming to the fair, along with the jobs and internships they are recruiting for.  Remember, don’t judge a book by its cover or in this case, don’t judge an employer by its industry.  Your major might be exactly what an employer is looking for, even if you think they wouldn’t have any jobs relevant to you.  For example, if you are a Computer Science major, you can work in any industry, including healthcare, business, and human services.  In most cases, the person at the career fair is from the human resources department and can talk to you about all of the openings at the organization.
  2. RESEARCH. Once you have taken a look at the list of employers attending, dive deeper into those of interest to you. Take a look at their website.  An organization’s career page is a great place to see all of their openings.  Also check other pages such as, about us, services and/or products, etc.  Being knowledgeable about an organization when you are talking to a representative goes A LONG way.
  3. MAKE A LIST of the employers you want to talk to and bring it with you to the fair.
  4. PRACTICE YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH. Your elevator pitch should be around 30 seconds.  It is a summary of your professional self.  Include: your name, major, year in college, what you hope to do (as it relates to the person you are speaking with) and what you have done to support your career goals.  Example: “Hi, my name is Jane Smith.  I am a Health Science major at Mercy College and hope to work in a hospital such as your organization, when I graduate with my Bachelor’s degree.  I currently volunteer at White Plains Hospital as a patient transport and have spent time volunteering in the maternity ward in the past.  I am very passionate about working with patients from all walks of life.” Practice this pitch over and over so you have it ready!
  5. REVIEW YOUR RESUME. Make sure it is up to date, error free, with consistent formatting.  Drop by the Career and Professional Development office during walk in hours if you would like to have it reviewed beforehand.  BRING 20 COPIES TO THE FAIR, at minimum.
  6. DRESS FOR SUCCESS. Wear a business suit if you have one, or business casual if you do not. No matter what industry you are looking to intern or work in, business attire is always a good idea for a career fair.
  7. SHOW UP! Arrive at the fair between 1:30-3:30. Arriving earlier is best to meet employers when they are fresh.  Grab a career fair map at the entrance and take a moment to locate the employers you want to meet with.
  8. SELL YOURSELF. Get out there, full of confidence, and make connections!  You will be less nervous because you have practiced your elevator pitch.  You look fabulous and your resume is ready to go.  Opportunities are plentiful, carpe diem!

See you at the Fair!


Sara Shepherd

By Sara Shepherd
Sara Shepherd Employer Relationship Manager, Career and Professional Development Sara Shepherd