How to Prepare for the Career Fair (2021 Fall)

How to Prepare for the Career Fair 

By: GPA Staff 

Gatton students have two great opportunities to attend career fairs this fall! First up is the 2021 Fall Accounting Internship & Career Fair on Friday, September 10th. Following, the 2021 Fall Business, Communications, Liberal Arts & All Majors Career Fair will take place on Wednesday, September 22nd. Both events are an excellent time to network and speak with recruiters from companies that you may want to work for! It is important that you are completely prepared so that way you get as much out of the fair as you can. Below are some important tips to consider for the big day. 

Preparation Before the Fair 

Have you ever attended a career fair before? Are you struggling to know what to say to a recruiter? Come join the Graham Office of Career Management via Zoom to learn how to prepare and tips for talking with recruiters. We want all of our students to feel confident and prepared so you can focus on the connections you are making rather than the medium of the fair. This Career Fair Prep event will take place on Wednesday, September 1, 3:00 – 4:00 PM. 

Now let’s talk about a few more steps you need to take before attending the fair. Having an updated resume is crucial to landing in the ‘Yes!’ pile. The Graham Office will be holding Resumanias virtually via Zoom for Accounting and Business students prior to the career fair. This is an opportunity to get resume feedback from a professional! The Accounting Resumania will be on Friday, September 3rd from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and the Business Resumania will be on Friday, September 17th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Remember that both events will be held via Zoom and a sign-up is required to attend! See the Graham Office website for more information on how to sign up. 

The next thing to take care of before attending a career fair is to create an elevator pitch. This is basically a short description about yourself that tells employers who you are and what you are interested in. Your elevator pitch should include your name, major, graduation date, relevant experience, career goals, and why you are interested in the company and the specific opportunities they offer. To complete an elevator pitch, you should go on Handshake and look at the list of companies that will be attending the fair. Choose the ones that you are most interested in and tailor your pitch towards each company and the positions they offer. 

Another important step to take before attending the fair will be to research the companies you are interested in. After picking out your preferred companies that you want to connect with, you should go online and do some research. This includes looking at resources such as the company website, news articles, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor reviews. By looking through this information, you can match your skills and interests to the companies and their needs. 

How to Sign Up 

Now that you have all your preliminary steps completed, it’s time to sign up! You may sign up for the fair through Handshake or students may drop by at leisure. There is a QR code and link on the career fair banner on the home page of the Graham Office of Career Management’s website to sign up. 

Day of the Fair  

You’ve made it, it’s the big day! There are just a few final considerations to make before you speak to employers and recruiters. First, you need to know what is appropriate to wear. It is especially important that you look presentable and professional. For women, a nice blouse with or without a blazer is acceptable. Make-up should be kept natural-looking. For men, a long-sleeve button-up shirt with or without a blazer is acceptable. 

The 2021 Fall Accounting Internship & Career Fair will be held in Woodward Hall on Friday, September 10th, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. 

The 2021 Fall Business, Communications, and Liberal Arts & All Majors Career Fair will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the Gatton Student Center on Wednesday, September 22nd,    11:00 am – 3:00 pm. 

After the Fair   

Now that the fair is over, you can take a breather. There are just a few more steps to go through to ensure that the event was worthwhile. First, follow up with the recruiters you spoke to by writing them a “thank you” email. This means that during your meeting with them, make sure to ask for their name and contact information so that way you can send them an email after. Your email should be sent no later than 24 hours after you speak with them. You should keep the message short and simple. Add a personal connection that you made during your meeting to show the recruiter that the discussion was important and memorable to you. Include information regarding your interest in the company moving forward. 

The final step to take during this entire career fair process is to apply to open job/internship positions. Most available jobs will be included on the company’s page under the fair registration information on Handshake. Use any feedback given to you during your meetings to boost your application. Follow application directions from the recruiter and gain a firm understanding of what the company is looking for in a new hire. 

Now you have all the information necessary to succeed at the upcoming career fairs. If you have any questions, please reach out and schedule an appointment with the Graham Office of Career Management. Good luck! 

Career Fair Steps:

By Angie Evilia
Angie Evilia Career Advisor