How To Prepare
Big East Career Fair Tips For Candidates
Prior to the Career Day
- Plan to wear a professional outfit – first impressions are critical and lasting
- Do not wear jeans, t-shirts, wrinkled clothes, sneakers or hats
- Employers strongly discourage mini skirts, tank/halter/sleeveless tops, low cut or tight fitting shirts, facial or tongue piercings, and visible tattoos
- Women – wear a suit, pants suit, blazer with skirt or dress, conservative color, no heavy jewelry or perfume
- Men – wear a suit, jacket & tie with slacks, conservative color, no heavy cologne of after shave
- Prepare plenty of copies of your resume – more than you think you’ll need
- Have an attractive resume on good quality paper, using bold, underline, and bullets; we strongly suggest you use white or other neutral-color paper
- Check carefully for typos, spelling and grammar errors
- Have it critiqued at Career Services
- Keep them in a folder or portfolio at the event. Do not bring them to the career day on a disk
- Prepare a scannable resume free of special effects so it can be scanned into the employer’s applicant tracking system for online screening. Bring both types of resumes to the career day
- Some employers may also ask you to submit your resume through their company website for their specific type of applicant tracking system. This is a growing trend and a few employers no longer accept paper resumes in person
- Familiarize yourself with the employers
- Decide which employers you want to speak with and prioritize them
- Research, research, research – a list of participating employers is available on our website two weeks prior to each event. Click on “Events”
- Click the “Details” button next to each employer for recruiting needs and contact information
- Click on the employer name to go to their website
- Market yourself
- Prepare a 60-second infomercial about yourself - your major, year in school, jobs and internships, career interests, activities, skills & strengths. What attracts you to the employer?
- Preview the list of organizations participating in the event and plan a strategy for the day. Put together an "A" list and a "B" list of employers you want to target.The list of participating employers is available on the Big East Career Fair website. Research all the employers on your "A" list. Look for current facts about the employer, including press releases announcing new projects or developments that will help you make an impression on recruiters.
- Develop your introduction: Hello, my name is__________. I am currently a junior, majoring in economics and working part-time as a supervisor in the OIT – Office of Information Technology at _______ University. This role has enhanced my communication, management, and leadership skills. In addition, I had an internship over the summer at Widget Company where I worked in a team environment on a variety of marketing website development projects. I recently read an article about your company's plans for business growth in the Northeast, and I am interested in learning more.
- Practice your introduction with a friend or career counselor so it sounds conversational rather than rehearsed. You may want to break your opening remarks into two or three segments rather than delivering it all at once.
At the Career Day
- Come early in the day – employers are at their peak and there is less competition
- Bring a pen, folder or portfolio for your resumes, and perhaps a pad of paper
- Carry as little as possible (no coats or backpacks, etc.)
- Turn off cell phones in the employer areas
- Approach employer representatives with confidence
- Introduce yourself, make good eye contact, and offer a firm handshake
- Give the recruiter your resume and tell him/her about yourself and your career interests
- Ask questions about job openings/descriptions, the organization, application procedures, etc.
- Collect business cards and employer literature
- Speak with as many employers as possible
- Visit your top choices first. Avoid standing in a long line to speak with one recruiter when you could talk with 3 or 4 others in the same time period
- Some employers may also ask you to submit your resume through their company website for their specific type of applicant tracking system. This is a growing trend due to a requirement that employers who maintain contracts with the federal government that are over a certain dollar amount must report detailed recruitment. This data is most easily collected through employers' online applicant tracking system.
After the Career Day
- Send a thank you letter or email message, restating your interest, to those employers in which you are particularly interested. Include a copy of your resume. Since most candidates will not follow up with employers after the career day, this will make you stand out.