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Job Fairs

Understanding the Process

The People Behind the Tables

They are usually recruiters — their job is to weed out applicants for the Hiring Manager. Do all you can to create a positive impression. Your objective is to show that you not only possess each job requirement, but that you also fit into their working environment.

What to Bring/What to Wear


  • Bring a minimum of one top quality resume for each organization you plan to speak with, plus several other copies. Don't worry about a cover letter — you are the cover letter.

Credential File  (Education Majors)

  • Make sure all organizations get copies of your education file — it contains everything they should need including a data sheet, references, and transcripts.

Portfolio and briefcase

  • Invest in a 9" x 12" portfolio to store your credentials and taking notes about the organizations. You will also need something to carry the information you will receive.


  • Image is very important especially since first impressions are made very quickly. Professional attire required! A suit is appropriate or dress slacks and a nice shirt and tie (for men). NO jeans! Stick with interview attire for Career Fairs and you’ll be right on track.  


Avoid Lines Initially

  • Instead, quietly pick up some material and step back to review it. Pay attention and listen as the recruiter visits with others. This will give you time to prepare and give you insight into the recruiter — other candidates won't have this information until after the fact.

Line Information Gathering

  • After reviewing material about the organization, visit with others about what they are looking for and who they have talked with. This is an excellent way to gather data.

Three Types of Job Fair Interviews

Screening Interview

  • This interview typically lasts 2-3 minutes and is focused on basic information about yourself. Keep to the point, ask for a business card and determine the next step. You might want to prepare a 30 second commercial about yourself. 

Mini Interview

  • This interview typically lasts 5-10 minutes and is conducted at the booth. This interview allows you to elaborate a little more about your qualifications and experience.

Full Interview

  • This interview could last 20 minutes or more and is conducted in another location. Consider this interview as you would any other full interview.

General Tips

  • Be prepared for the question, "What are you looking for here at the career fair?"
  • Don't be afraid to ask, "What is the key to moving to the next step in the hiring process?"
  • If you notice that the recruiter is in need of something, offer to assist them.
  • If they are not recruiting for your area, ask to whom you should direct your correspondence.
  • Return to organizations that you are interested in and thank them for their time.
  • Ask for business cards and write thank you notes.