Career Fair Tips

Career fairs help you build your network.

Recruiters come prepared to discuss job and/or internship opportunities and provide information about their organizations. The fair will provide you the chance for a brief, less formal contact before a “real” interview later.


Be Prepared

Do your homework on attendees

  • Review the list of participating employers and their job opportunities.
  • Note those employers you are interested in and visit the organization’s website for more information about the work, mission, and goals.
  • Make a list of focused and specific questions at the career fair. This impresses representatives because it shows genuine interest.

Prioritize and make a plan of attack

  • You may find it easiest to start with the employers in which you’re less interested. This will allow you to hone your approach and to be most confident when you approach employers you’re especially excited about.
  • Balance the tip above with the reality that your time will most likely be limited and other students may be interested in the same employers. Factor in wait time.

Bring resumes & business cards

  • Have many copies of your resume ready to hand out. You may want to have some “general” versions and some targeted to specific employers or industries (e.g., consulting, data mining, data analysis).
  • It’s always a good idea to have business cards; giving a card is a great way to get a card so you can follow-up electronically!

Making the Connection

Be courteous

  • Demonstrate sensitivity to other students waiting to speak with employers by keeping your questions brief and offering to continue your conversation at a later time.
  • Enjoy the fair and your interaction with employers! Be positive and let your enthusiasm show.

Introduce yourself & ask questions

  • Extend your hand, say “hello” and state your name. Welcome the representative to Berkeley. Have your resume and questions ready.
  • Inquire about next steps, work culture, what they look for in a candidate, qualities needed to succeed, etc.

Take notes

  • Note specific employer information sessions, on-campus interviewing, and projected hiring dates that affect you.

Build a strong & sustainable network!

Making the connection with recruiters at a career fair is step one. Be sure to follow-up and reinforce your connection over time.

  • Send an “it was great to meet you” email, soon after the event.
  • Add the contact on LinkedIn
  • Send follow-up emails as you make progress towards your degree, gain experience (e.g., complete an internship), or make other updates to your resume.
  • Want bonus points? Anytime you run across something that might help them, send a note! Keep in mind their goals at all times.

Dress to Impress

First impressions are important. Dress for the event type; In general, business casual is appropriate.

Business Casual Basics

  • Steer clear of denim.
  • Avoid anything neon, shiny, and too trendy. Opt instead for classic and slightly understated. Accessories should be conservative and in good taste.
  • All clothing should be clean, pressed, and wrinkle-free. Extra points for things that are well tailored!
  • Shoes should be clean and polished (not scuffed).
  • Wear perfume and cologne very sparingly since some people are allergic.
  • Women: Skirts should fall to the knee (at least); short, tight skirts, sun dresses, and spaghetti-straps are inappropriate.
  • Men: Collared shirts are best; ties aren’t required, but are encouraged (avoid bold, crazy patterns)! Dark socks only; belt should match shoe color.

Additional Resources

Business Cards: Click here for the business card template and printing instructions.

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Last updated:

January 30, 2019