How to Navigate a Career Fair

The upcoming UConn Career Fairs in Gampel Pavilion is a valuable opportunity for all college students – whether you’re a freshman looking to decide on a major, a sophomore or junior seeking an internship, or a senior looking for a post-graduate career – the Career Fair is an opportunity for all students in any part of their college experience to seize. A few items to keep in mind as you prepare for and then attend the Career Fair include:

Anticipate the Career Fair in Advance by polishing your résumé with a quick tune-up at the Center for Career Development’s Resume Critique sessions; attending a Navigating the Career Fair workshop; researching and familiarizing yourself with the employers that will be attending the Career Fair to create a target list of those you would like to meet; and preparing a 20 second personal introduction to use with employers that closes with a key question to ask each employer that you meet.

Be Prepared on the day of the Career Fair by dressing in professional business attire and carrying a simple padfolio with paper, pen and two résumés for each employer you plan to approach.

Navigate the Career Fair Successfully by leaving your non-essential items at the coat check and switching your cell phone to silent; establishing a rapport with each recruiter with a firm handshake and smile, and delivering your 20 second personal introduction that you state in a steady voice while making direct eye contact with the recruiter, all the while asking open ended questions that demonstrate your sincere interest in learning more about the firm; gathering business cards and informational material from each booth; asking each recruiter if you can follow up with him/her after the Career Fair, remembering to thank each recruiter for taking the time to speak with you; and sending thank-you notes or emails to the recruiters you spoke with within 48 hours of the close of the Career Fair.

Continue your Career Development after the Career Fair by creating follow-up plans to contact the recruiters you spoke with to express your continued interest in working for his/her firm, using this opportunity to answer all inquiries you may have about the firm’s application process; and reflecting on your Career fair experience while making plans to visit the Center for Career Development (Wilbur Cross Room 202) to meet with a career consultant to explore career options and learn more about the job/internship search process.