Before, During and After the Job Fair

Attending a job fair provides you with the opportunity to collect information from potential employers, make new contacts, and learn more about available internships and employment opportunities.

Before the Job Fair

  • Prepare a one-minute commercial about yourself, as well as a resume. Think of your strong points, your goals, the company, and where you want to go within the company.
  • Think about where you want to work geographically, what you like doing, what you are looking for in a job, and your most relevant skills.
  • Know what kind of information you are seeking so you are able to ask questions.
  • Bring plenty of copies of your resume – just in case!
  • Remember, this is not an interview. It is your opportunity to make a crucial first impression!
  • Use the floor plan and list of companies by booth number to locate the companies you want to contact.
  • Walk around to get a feel for the set-up.
  • Wear business professional clothing. Women should wear a business suit, dress pants, or a dress skirt, a professional-looking blouse or shirt that does not show cleavage, and closed-toe shoes. Men should wear a business suit or dress pants, a button down shirt and tie, and dress shoes. Do not wear hats, tennis shoes, flip flops, or casual clothing

During the Job Fair

  • Introduce yourself. Be confident and maintain eye contact. 
  • Take your time. Visit all employers that interest you.
  • Make small talk to build rapport with organizations.
  • Go it alone. The buddy system doesn’t work in this situation, and each person attending should have his or her own agenda.
  • Listen attentively and gather information. Learn as much as you can about the various opportunities the employer has available.
  • Be enthusiastic! Employer surveys identify passion as the single most important personal attribute students can bring to their first regular employment position. So, smile and project interest in the company.
  • Explore all the options. A wide variety of companies will participate in the job fair. This is an excellent opportunity to browse and indulge your curiosity.
  • Pick up business cards at each booth. Jot down notes on the back of the cards to help you remember your conversation with the company representative. Help yourself to free company literature.

After the Job Fair

  • Send thank you notes to company representatives you were excited about visiting with. Let them know you are interested in their company. This positive approach can make a difference for you in the future.
  • Follow-up with your contacts.
  • Attach an updated or amended resume to your follow-up correspondence.
Looking for more resources? View job fair prep videos created by the South Dakota Association of College Career Centers to help you prepare for their events.