The First Impression

Arrive at the Career Fair with the following materials and preparations:

  • Several copies of your resume jet/laser printed on high quality paper. (Transcripts and letters of recommendation are optional.)
  • A professional looking portfolio or folder to hold your resume, supporting materials, paper and pen, and recruiters' business cards
  • A target list of companies that interest you most. (Reminder notes about each company may prove helpful.)
  • A list of pre-prepared questions for each company on your target list. List of questions to ask at a career fair.
  • Greet recruiters with a firm handshake, a smile, and good eye contact.
  • You should be prepared to present a brief "commercial" or statement about yourself that includes an overview of your talents and skills, a description of your career goals, and an explanation as to why you're interested in the company.

Example:

"Hello. My name is Jonah, it’s very nice to meet you. I’m heading into my senior year in English here at UCLA, however I’ve gathered a lot of professional experience in computer sales, and am looking for a job in that field. This past summer, I gained a lot of valuable sales experience through an internship with Dell, and over the past two years have also been active in getting my friend’s small computer business off the ground. I’ve researched your company, and I know that you’ve recently expanded your product line to include wireless communication devices. I’m really excited by the recent innovations in wireless services, and would love to find out more about what you’re doing in that area. I’m also very interested in learning about the kinds of training opportunities and entry level positions you have available to graduating seniors."

 

Make a good first impression! Be personable and have a sense of humor. Keep your interaction conversational and comfortable. Ask thoughtful, prepared questions tailored specifically for that company and/or industry. Tell them about yourself (using a brief personal statement that you prepared and rehearsed in advance).

"Close the deal." Take the initiative and ask what your next step should be. Leave them with your resume (and any additional supporting materials). Ask for a business card so that you can follow up with them later. Thank them for giving you helpful information about their company, and for considering your resume. Tell them it was a pleasure talking with them, and that you'll be in touch.

Learn more about making a great first impression and read the "Three Minute Career Fair Encounter."