The Career Fair is right around the corner! Are you going? Whether you have a specific employer in mind, are just browsing, or hope to use the event for career exploration, there’s something for everyone. We hope to see you there regardless, but if you have the opportunity to prepare, consider the following tips:

Know who’s coming: Research the participant list and make a list of organizations that appeal to you. Think broadly about possibilities – many roles in organizations don’t require a specific major.

Research the participants: Review the information listed on the CES website and then take it a step further. Look at the participating organizations’ websites (pay attention to the About Us section to learn more about the organization and check out the Careers or Employment section to see what types of positions they are looking to fill). Visit the ASK Network to see if other Puget Sound alumni work for the organization (while they may not be at the Career Fair, you could follow-up with them to learn more).

If you have one, bring your resume: Consider developing different versions if you’re targeting a variety of organizations. Don’t have time to do that? Bring a copy of your current resume. It is helpful to have it available if you’re asked for it.

Prepare an introduction: You’ll find it’s a lot easier to get a conversation started if you can give them more than your name. It doesn’t have to be complicated or long, but simply, “Hi, I’m Stacy. I’m a senior Comparative Sociology major and I’m really interested in learning more about your marketing opportunities.”  Later in the conversation you can drop in the fact that you did an internship over the summer or handle all the marketing for your student group’s events.

Ask for a business card: Few people write thank you notes. If you’re interested in standing out from the sea of candidates, ask for a business card from employer representatives and send them a thank you. Let them know you appreciated the time they took to attend the Career Fair and to share their perspective about their organization. If possible, cite something specific you learned from them and (if appropriate) reiterate your interest in their available opportunities.

CES is there for you: If you struggle to find an employer who connects to your interests and skills, are nervous about making an introduction, or need some tips on how to use the Career Fair for career exploration, find us. We have a table at the event and will be on hand to help with questions.

Want more tips? Attend a Career Fair Prep Session!

Previous blog posts related to Career Fair:

Connect & Impress in 15 Seconds or Less: Developing an introduction

Calling all Loggers! Come to the Career Fair! What you can expect at the Career Fair

The Value of Saying Thank You: Showcases the importance of a proper thank you

© 2010, 2013 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound
Photo: Ross Mulhausen