Workshops and Career Fairs
Workshops and career fairs are excellent opportunities to gain perspective on a future career, make contacts, and meet with potential employers. Before attending an event, prepare your resume and check if the event requires early registration for admission.
It is always best to arrive prepared for any networking event. Here is what to expect before, during, and after a career fair.
Before the Career Fair:
- Polish your resume.
- Know your career goals.
- Create business cards. You can make your own and print them yourself or use a service such as Vistaprint or OfficeMax.
- Research and study the organizations attending the event.
- Create a list of interview questions that you will ask employers.
- Practice interview questions.
- Pick out and have your career fair attire ready.
- Practice a 30-40 second elevator pitch that answers the question: “Tell me something about yourself.”
During the Career Fair:
- Dress appropriately and professionally.
- Bring copies of your resume and business cards.
- Bring a pen and paper.
- Ask intelligent questions while speaking with an organization representative.
- When you meet with a recruiter, leave your resume and exchange business cards.
- Take notes after meeting with a recruiter. Be sure to write down any follow-up commitments you may have discussed.
- Always remain polite and professional.
- Network with other job seekers while at the event.
After the Career Fair:
- After the event, reach out to your new contacts thanking them for their time in an email or hand-written note. Be sure to ask about the next steps in the recruitment process.
The difference between a career fair and workshop. Workshops are events where there may be multiple speakers giving educational lectures. After each event, a work session is typically held, or there is time to network with potential contacts. Career fairs are set up with numerous booths, owned by businesses so that students or alumni can speak with a representative about the company, a specific role, or profession.
What to Expect
It is not uncommon for our students to be speaking directly with an employer who might have a job opportunity. If this happens, it is essential to keep in mind the following expectations.
You Can Expect to:
- Have the ability to introduce yourself.
- Answer questions from potential employers.
- Show that you have done your research by asking questions that cannot be answered by checking the employer's website.
What Not to Expect:
- To be awarded a job offer.
- To have an on-the-spot interview. Always be prepared for an interview but do not set this expectation for employers.