How to Network at a Career Fair

December 16, 2014

The Career Services Team hosted a Career Fair at Clary Sage College for current students and alumni this past Monday. Several hundred students and a dozen alumni attended the event, where 19 different employers were set up to discuss their companies and open positions they currently have – as well as enjoy a yummy cookie buffet, hot chocolate bar, and doughnuts!

A Career Fair creates the perfect environment for Networking! Whether you’re at the career fair to gather information about possible companies to work for, or to network with employers and alumni, it’s important to be prepared and professional.

Here are some tips on how to be prepared:

  1. Research the Employers: review the company’s website and job listings before you attend the career fair.
  2. Copies of Your Resume: bring several copies of your resume and make sure that the information is updated.
  3. Bring your Portfolio: your portfolio should include your resume, references, and copies of some of your best work, awards or certificates.
  4. Wear Appropriate Attire: image and first impression are crucial.
  5. Prepare a Professional Introduction: practice your elevator speech it should include, information about your experience, strengths, accomplishments, career interests and goals.

Tips for Networking with Employers and Alumni:

  1. Always shake hands, make eye contact and smile when you meet someone for the first time. Demonstrate enthusiasm, confidence and interest.
  2. Take notes, and ask for business cards and brochures from employers.
  3. Network with other students and alumni as you go. They may know of other opportunities, or could introduce you directly to an employer who is at the fair.
  4. Always thank employer representatives for their time.
  5. The most important rule, always follow-up with the employers you met by sending a Thank You Card!

Finding a job can sometimes be daunting, but Career Fairs give you an opportunity to have fun, gather information and make those connections that will make your Job Search a little easier!