4 Career Fair Strategies that Work

Have you ever heard the quote: “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.” I don’t know who said this one, but it’s true: sometimes a plan overlaps with crunch time, and you’ve got to make do. 

What does this have to do with career fairs? Everything! If there is any place that can combine both a plan and not quite enough time, it’s meeting and greeting employers as you try to figure out what you are doing with your life. So, I’m going to suggest four things to do before, during, and after the fair to help you achieve great things. 

1. Pick your favorites.

Do I think every employer attending the career fair is important and valuable and worthy of your undivided attention? Yes, of course. But you have better things to do than try and have meaningful conversations with every single recruiter in a room. Before the fair, take a look at who is attending via Handshake and do a little research into what they do, what they are offering, and reflect on whether they align with your own career goals. For anyone that aligns, make them your top priority at the fair.

Attending the Spring 2023 Health and Sciences Career Fair? Click here to see the class years and roles attending employers will be recruiting for at the fair.

2. Ask good questions.

You are on a mission. You’ve picked your favorites to visit – now what do you need to know if you want to take this recruiting relationship to the next level? Use each discussion with a recruiter or alum as an opportunity to increase your knowledge of the company and their job options, as well as the qualities and skills they are looking for in a candidate. Not sure where to start? Check out Handshake’s list of “get to know you” questions for fairs.

3. Make quick notes.

Don’t risk forgetting the highlights of a great conversation you had with an employer. In a notebook or on the back of a business card you received, create a quick record of who you spoke with, things you want to remember, and a reminder to follow up with them. Your future self will thank you!

4. Send a follow-up message.

Now that you’ve finished with the fair itself, you get to wrap up this plan and start a new one. Your entire list of favorites may not have made the final cut, and that’s okay! Send a note to the recruiters from the companies you did align with to thank them for their time and let them know your next steps – did you apply for the fellowship, internship or job? Are you connecting with them on LinkedIn? Let them know you are still interested in their organization and the great opportunities they have.

With these strategies, you can go into a career fair with confidence that great things are achievable. Be sure to put them into practice at the Health & Sciences Fair on February 15th or the Non-profit, Government, and Social Impact Fair on February 23rd. If you are looking for a few more surefire strategies to round out this career fair plan, check out our Ultimate Guide to Attending Career Fairs.

By Frances Adjorlolo, Associate Director, Employer Engagement

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