Career Fair Tips

Why go to a career fair?

Career fairs can be great opportunities to get summer internships, full time jobs, get comfortable talk about yourself, and find out what kinds of positions are available in the area.  It is a great experience for all students to go to a career fair, no matter what year you are in school or your experience level.

Preparing Beforehand

Make sure you are prepared for the career fair before you go.  The CU Career Fairs are busy with lots of students and hundreds of companies, so preparation beforehand will make the day of the career fair go smoothly.

Career Services also has gone great tips on their website: http://www.colorado.edu/career/events-fairs-programs/career-fairs

Resume

Have your resume completed and polished a few days before the career fair.  Print copies of your resume so you can hand them out at the career fair.  Some employers will want an electronic copy, but some may want a paper copy, so it is better to be prepared.  

Research the Companies

CU Career Fairs will invite hundreds of companies.  It is impossible for you to talk to all the companies, so set a strategy.  Look up which companies will be there and make a list of companies you definitely want to talk to and the companies you might want to talk to.  Often times large and popular companies will be very busy, so it will benefit you to have a plan of who you want to talk to beforehand.

To view which companies will be coming to a career fair, Log in to Career Buffs, click on “Career Events”, select the Category filter to “Career Fair” and click “View Employers”.

Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a brief summary of yourself that you use to introduce yourself to other people.  The names comes from pitching an idea or introducing yourself in the span of an elevator ride.

You should prepare a 15-20 second elevator pitch you can use to introduce yourself to the different companies.  You should practice this pitch beforehand, so it sounds natural when you are saying it.  However, it should not be set in stone, feel free to adjust it as need be.

Your elevator pitch should cover a few key areas:

  1. Your name and major.  This should not be the focus of your elevator pitch, so be short and to the point.
  1. Example:
  1. “Hello, I’m [your name] and I’m a freshman in [your major]”
  1. Your experiences.  Have you had other internships before?  Have you worked in a similar area?  List these.  But again, make it brief, employers want to know you’ve had experience, but do not want to hear you pitch another company.
  1. Examples:
  1. “Last summer I worked with [company name] as a [job title]”
  2. “I’ve worked in [area] before when I worked with [organization] doing [job position]”
  1. Your interests.  This is the part that you company will be more interested in.  This will tell them, what you care about and how you could fit within their company.
  1. Examples:
  1. “I’m interested in [area]”
  2. “I’m excited to learn more about [area]”
  1. How their company fits with your interests.  An employer is interested in you, but they are also interested in hearing about how you think you would fit within their company.  This shows that you are knowledgeable about their company and are serious about looking for a position there.
  1. Examples:
  1. “I’m interested in how [company] is doing work in [area]”
  2. “I saw that [company] is looking for people with [skill]”
  1. Your intent.  Why are you speaking with an employer from that company?  Is it to get a job? An internship?  Be clear about what you want from that person and their company.
  1. Examples:
  1. “I’m looking for a internship in summer 2017”
  2. “I’m looking for a part time position”

Things to Bring

Things to NOT Bring

Appropriate Dress and Attire

Put your best foot forward by dressing professionally. It is better to dress more professionally than to be too casual.

Men

Dark slacks paired with a button-up shirt and tie is common.  Wear nice shoes.

Women

A dark skirt or slacks paired with a blouse is common.  Wear nice shoes and avoid stilettos.

Everyone

Avoid wearing jeans, sneakers, sandals and flip flops.  Your clothing should be clean, wrinkle-free, and without obvious wear and holes.  Avoid overly bright colors with distracting designs.  Your clothing should be fitted without being too tight.