Before the Career Opportunity Fair
- Clarify why you are going to the career fair. Are you going to the career fair to look for internships, summer jobs, or a full time job after you graduate? Are you going to learn more about options in your career field or network with employers?
- Know which companies will be attending. Review the list of companies attending the career fair at – LINK to employer list. Make a list of at least 10 companies that you would like to speak with and learn more about at the fair. Use Google or the company website to research the organization: structure, mission/philosophy/goals, size and locations, products and services, and recent press coverage.
- Prepare your resume. Resumes should be one page long and should highlight your relevant and transferrable experiences and skills. Have your resume reviewed by a career advisor at the Career Center prior to the fair. Bring enough copies for the companies you are interested in, plus a few extra, in a padfolio!
- Develop an “elevator pitch”. Create a one minute “pitch” to introduce yourself to employers. Include your name, major, and professional goal(s). Express your interest in a specific position and describe what you have to offer the company (use examples from previous experience). Demonstrate your knowledge of the company and end with a question.
How to Dress for the Career Opportunity Fair
- Two-piece business suit: Conservative, preferably in a dark color; pants or skirt (skirt hem should be no more than 2” above the knee and loose on your hips.) Leggings, and short and/or tight skirts are not acceptable.
- Closed toe shoes: Solid dark color or black to match suit. Heels should be 2.5” or less; leather; good fit.
- Shirt or Blouse: White or ivory is preferable; conservative style with a good fit—not too tight; not sheer or low cut.
- Sheer hosiery: Skin color.
- Minimal jewelry: Conservative; pearls are suitable; no plastic or acrylic beads.
- Simple make-up: Avoid bright or excessive make-up—should look natural; soft shade of lipstick; mascara—no false lashes.
- Hair: Clean and styled off of the face.
- Two-piece business suit: Black, dark blue, or gray; conservative in style, fully lined, good fit.
- Dress shirt: White or subtle solid color; button tabs or point collar; long-sleeved only.
- Dress shoes: Polished; black or brown; no tassels.
- Dark socks: Black over the calf socks.
- Leather belt: Solid color that matches shoes; conservative buckle.
- Silk neck tie: Conservative design; bottom of tie should touch top of belt buckle.
- Minimal jewelry: Wedding ring or college ring only; no tiepins or clips; no pierced jewelry or chains.
- Hair: Clean and styled off of the face; facial hair should be groomed.
Day of the Career Opportunity Fair
- Remember to be friendly, talkative, stay on topic, speak clearly and confidently, and stay positive!
- Give the company recruiter a firm handshake and deliver your previously prepared elevator pitch; introducing yourself, your interests and your skills/experience.
- Sample Elevator Pitch: Hi, my name is Joe Smith and I am a junior majoring in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. I am also completing a certificate in nonprofit leadership and hope to work for a nonprofit organization after graduating. For the past year, I have served as a Big Brother for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, as well as completed 100 community service hours with my fraternity. I am currently looking for a summer internship in the nonprofit sector where I can combine my interest and experience of nonprofit organizations and my knowledge of public relations and communication.
- Ask the company recruiter questions about their open positions and the company. What type of training do new employees receive? What skills and attributes are you seeking in a candidate? What challenges and opportunities are associated with this position? What should I know about the application process? How does your organization give back to the community?
- Before leaving an employer table, get the recruiter’s business card at the close of your conversation, ask how and when you should follow up, get more company information (if available), and thank the recruiter for their time and for coming to Indiana State University.
- Sample Conversation with Employer:
- Student – Hi, my name is Joe Smith and I am a junior majoring in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. I am also completing a certificate in nonprofit leadership and hope to work for a nonprofit organization after graduating. For the past year, I have served as a Big Brother for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, as well as completed 100 community service hours with my fraternity. I am currently looking for a summer internship in the nonprofit sector where I can combine my interest and experience of nonprofit organizations and my knowledge of public relations and communication.
- Employer – What interests you about XYZ company?
- Student – Based on the information I have seen on the company website and the research that I have done, XYZ company has had a tremendous amount of growth in the past five years and has provided valuable experience to their college interns and entry level employees. There looks to be a lot of hands on experience and exposure to various areas of the company, which is something that interests me, as I would like to gain more insight into the various components and departments of a growing company.
- Employer – Can you tell me more about your major and what skills you bring?
- Student – I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. Through my major, I have learned a great deal about interpersonal communication and have experience working with both large and small groups on a variety of projects. I pride myself on being a positive and contributing member to a team and often seek out leadership roles in the classroom, as well as in student organizations. I am currently the Treasurer of the Public Relations Student Organization, where I am responsible for fundraising and maintaining accurate and up to date financial records for the organization.
- Student – Can you tell me a bit about your training program and/or interview process?
- Employer – Our summer training program starts the last week of May and runs for 10 weeks. Throughout the course of the summer, participants are exposed to a variety of areas and departments within the company through a rotational program. In order to be considered for the program, we recommend applicants submit their application on our website by March 15. After the deadline, applications will be reviewed and phone and in-person interviews will be conducted. We hope to have all positions filled by mid-April.
- Student – Okay, great! I will submit my internship application on the company website by the end of this week. Do you have a business card in case I have additional questions about the company or application process? Thank you for your time and for recruiting at ISU. I look forward to speaking with you again soon!
- After leaving an employer, jot notes down for yourself in your padfolio about the position, company, and recruiter (how the interaction went, what you learned, and what you wish you would have said).
- Before leaving the fair, collect any literature from companies that interest you, even if you were unable to interact with them so you can follow up later.
After the Career Opportunity Fair
Follow up with the companies and recruiters you talked to! Send thank you letters within 24 hours. Letters should thank recruiters, highlight your strengths and demonstrate how you are a good fit for the company and position, and mention something you talked about during your conversation. Thank you emails are fine, but a hard copy note is a nice touch!