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How To Work A Job Fair

Attending a career fair evokes feelings of anxiety, intimidation, and confusion for many students. They may be able to tell you exactly what they are going to wear to the fair and what their resume is going to say. However, when it comes to introducing themselves to employers and standing out in a sea of hundreds of students, they become nervous and uncertain of how to approach the situation. Thankfully, there are actions you can take NOW to successfully prepare for any upcoming career fairs.

Remember, that the UNC Charlotte FALL CAREER EXPO is SEPTEMBER 16TH from 9:30 – 3:00 PM in the Student Activity Center (SAC).If you are planning on attending this or any other career fairs, make sure that you read over this list of essential tips for “working” a career fair.


 1. Get Focused: Know what sort of experience you are looking for, whether it be a part-time job, full time job, internship, or experiential learning experience. 

2. Know Your Career Goals: When an employer asks you what you want to do in the future, you want to be able to provide him or her with a set of short-term as well as long-term career-related goals.

3. Prepare Your Resume: Before attending a career fair, get your resume critiqued by a member of the University Career Center’s knowledgeable staff to guarantee that you resume is employer-ready.

4. Bring The Right Materials:

  • Several copies of your resume (enough for each employer you are interested in and a few extras)
  • A pen, and notebook to jot down any notes or information that employers may tell you
  • A professional-looking portfolio or folder to carry your resumes and notebook in

5. Professional Attire: Dress in suit attire. See “Professional Attire: What to Wear to the Fair”

6. Do Your Research: Click here to see which companies will be attending Career Expo. Find out basic things about the company as well as what positions they are hiring for (you can always write a ‘cheat sheet’ of company specifications in your notebook). Ideas of research areas:

  • History of the company
  • Where they are located
  • Mission, vision, and goals
  • Services or products
  • Size of the company
  • Financial status
  • Possible competitors
  • Plans for the future

7. Marketing Yourself: Prepare a “30 Second Commercial” introducing yourself and your qualifications. Things you should focus on include:

  • Name
  • Major
  • Graduation date
  • Previous related experience
  • What type of position you are looking for
  • Something about the company that you are impressed with or something you know about their organization
  • Also, jot down any questions or specific things you want to know about the company that aren’t found on the website

8. The Day of the Fair!

  • Arrive early
  • Do not bring your book bag or too many things to carry (you need to be able to shake hands with the employers
  • Pick up a program of where employer tables are located
  • Write your name carefully and legibly on your name tag
  • Turn OFF your cell phone

9. Make a Good Impression:

  • Firm handshake with employer
  • Maintain eye contact when speaking with employer
  • Smile and show enthusiasm

10. What To Say When Talking with An Employer:

  • Start out introducing yourself with your “30 Second Commercial”
  • Give the employer a copy of your resume if they are accepting resumes
  • Ask questions to show your interest, but DO NOT ask about things such as salary, benefits, or anything that would be obvious from an initial look at their website
  • Show that you are interested and ask for a business card to contact them after the fair
  • Thank them for their time

** Before going on to the next employer table, write down anything you have learned that you don’t want to forget and the name of the recruiter you spoke with

11. After the Fair: Take notes on the employers and positions that you are interested in; organize your business cards/information about the employers

12. Follow Up:

  • Complete any follow-up steps that the recruiter requested
  • Send a follow-up thank you card or email to the recruiter you spoke with
  • If the next step in the application/interview process was not explained to you, feel free to call and inquire
Leave a comment


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