The Center for Career Development’s Career Fairs are a great opportunity to network with employers and explore potential internship and job opportunities. It’s important to remember that just showing up at a Career Fair with your résumé is not enough to stand out to employers. To make a positive impression it is crucial that you research the employers you plan to speak to ahead of time. By planning and practicing your “pitch” in addition to 1-2 well thought-out questions for each employer you will make a lasting impression and stand out in your job or internship search.
How to Research Employers:
- Visit the Center for Career Development’s website to see which organizations are attending the fair.
- Decide which companies you want to speak to. Make a priority list of the companies you want to speak to, so that you can use your time effectively. If you don’t know what a company does, find out! All companies on our Employers List are hyperlinked to their websites.
- For employers you plan on speaking to, make sure to research their mission, what their organization does, and what entry-level openings they currently have. Be well informed on current company and industry trends. You can do this by researching on:
- HuskyCareerLink: Look for current openings and company bios
- Company website, recent news articles, Google search
- Social Media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
Prepare Questions and Practice your Pitch:
Use this writing exercise to help build your pitch and develop questions using your employer research.
Build your pitch:
- Write down a sentence to introduce yourself (include year in school, major, etc.):
- Write down 2-4 sentences that capture, with an example or two, your strengths and/or what makes you unique:
- Write down a sentence that includes something you are passionate about that is professionally relevant:
- Write down a question you might ask with the purpose of gaining information or advice:
Some ideas of questions to ask:
- Can you tell me about how [cite specific industry trend, company news] has impacted the company?
- I saw that you are hiring for both _________ and _________ positions, given my [cite specific skill, or background experience] which do you think I would be a stronger applicant for?
- In your opinion, what sets _________ apart from your competitors in the _________ industry?
- What skills would a successful applicant for _________ position possess?
- How does your company support professional development?
- May I have your business card? (Ask at the end of your conversation and use later to follow up with thank you email)
Put it all together in a way that you can authentically speak it. Don’t forget to PRACTICE out loud!
Next Steps for After the Fair:
- Write a thank you email or hand written note to employers with whom you spoke
- Find internship and job postings to apply for on HuskyCareerLink
- Review cover letter resources on Center for Career Development website
- Prepare individual cover letters for each position; schedule a cover letter critique
- Review interviewing resources on Center for Career Development website
- Schedule a Practice Interview