Researching Employers for a Career Fair

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:

  1. Visit the Center for Career Development’s website to see which organizations are attending the fair.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. Write down a sentence to introduce yourself (include year in school, major, etc.):
  2. Write down 2-4 sentences that capture, with an example or two, your strengths and/or what makes you unique:
  3. Write down a sentence that includes something you are passionate about that is professionally relevant:
  4. 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:

By Emily Merritt
Emily Merritt Career Consultant, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences