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Tips to Get Ready for Job Fairs

Why should you attend a Job Fair?

Jobs Fairs are a chance to make important contacts with potential employers and to get information about current and future opportunities. They also serve as a great opportunity to meet with a variety of employers in one convenient location and explore career options you may otherwise have not considered.

Before the Fair:

  • Get a list of organizations that are coming to the fair on the CDC website and research those organizations
    • In addition to online research, use social media (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter) to learn more about the organization’s products, services, and current initiatives.
    • Create your prioritized list of organizations that you would like to meet.
  • Self-assessment: Know yourself and what you are hoping to get from the fair.
    • Decide on your career focus and what kind of work experience you are looking for.
    • Know what value you can bring to their organization. What can you do for them?
    • Be able to state why you are interested in working for their organization.
  • Prepare and rehearse a brief summary of your qualifications (elevator pitch).
    • Be able to tell an employer who you are, your major, your career interests, your relevant work experience, your strong professional and personal skills, and what you hope to offer their organization.
    • Customize it to the needs of the organization you are most interested in.
    • Prepare 1-2 questions to ask each employer that reflect your research and interest.
  • Craft an effective resume:
    • Make sure it creates a favorable impression.
    • Remember that the CDC staff can review your resume.
    • Print out several copies on resume paper.
  • Prepare your fair attire.
    • Create a professional image with your choice of clothing
    • A conservative, well-tailored, pressed and clean suit will make a positive impression.
    • Click here for tips on attire.
  • Prepare your briefcase, padfolio, or portfolio to hold your resumes and other documents you may need to show an employer.
    • Leave your backpack at home.

Day of the Fair:

  • Arrive early so that you have ample time to speak with your choice of employers.
    • Review the job fair program to familiarize yourself with employer locations.
  • At all times, stay aware of the impression you are making.
    • Do not chew gum.
    • Practice your smile.
    • Turn your phone completely off and put it away or do not bring it at all.
    • Offer your right hand with a firm handshake.
    • Maintain eye contact throughout your conversation.
    • Smile often and show enthusiasm.
  • Remember the representative's name and be sure to pronounce/spell it correctly.
    • Ask for their business card.
    • You can use this later when you send a thank you letter.
  • Demonstrate that you have done your research with a well-crafted pitch.
    • Do not forget to ask questions!
    • Offer your resume to the employer.
    • Stay aware of others behind you waiting to speak with the employer.
  • Although you will be nervous, watch out for these fillers:
    • "like"
    • "um"
    • "ya know"
  • Near the end of your conversation, ask how their hiring process works and what your next steps are.
    • Determine the best way to follow up (e.g. email, phone, LinkedIn).
  • After you have spoken with the employers you are most interested in, take time to explore others you might not have considered

After the Fair:

  • Within 24 hours, send a customized thank you message to the employers that are your best prospects.
    • Mention something specific you discussed during your conversation.
  • Follow up with those employers who asked or gave you specific instructions on tasks to complete.
    • When following up via LinkedIn, customize the message by referencing where and when you met.
  • Follow representatives on Twitter.
    • Receive instant, real-time updates on events, job openings, and other applicable information.

Thank you correspondence example: Send within 24 hours of the fair

Ms. Jane Bennett
XYZ Communications
1234 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14214

March 23, 20XX

Dear Ms. Bennett:

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday at Buffalo State’s Job Fair. You were extremely helpful in explaining XYZ Communication’s Management Trainee Program and the needs of the Customer Service Department.

As we briefly discussed, my coursework in Business Administration and my previous management experience has provided me with a solid understanding of business operations and leadership skills.

I remain very interested in this opportunity, and I welcome the chance to meet with you and your team in the near future. As you suggested on Thursday, I have completed an application on XYZ Communication’s webpage. I will follow up with you to inquire about the status of my application. Thank you for your time and consideration.




Useful Links:


Career Development Center

Buffalo State College  •  1300 Elmwood Avenue  •  Cleveland Hall 306
Buffalo, New York 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5811  •  Fax: (716) 878-3152