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Career Fair Tips

Before the Fair

Dress professionally - Even if you are just passing through! You represent the EWU student body, so show these employers that they've come to the right place to meet a quality group of students. We recommend that men wear a business suit. If you don't own a business suit, slacks and a clean pressed button down shirt and tie are okay. We recommend that women wear a pant suit or skirt suit. If you wear a skirt it should be a conservative length and no shorter than just above your knees. Closed toed dress shoes should be worn by all. For women, avoid stilettos and opt for a flat or more conservative heel. For styling tips and ideas visit the EWU Career Services Pinterest page.

Research the companies ahead of time - Check what companies will be at the fair and research your top choices. Think of some questions you'd like to ask them. At a minimum, you should know what the company does before you talk to them.

Practice a brief introduction - Include your name, what you're studying, your class level, what kind of employment you're looking for and why you're interested in the company. Your introduction shouldn't take longer than 60 seconds. 

Update your resume - Start perfecting your resume at least two weeks before the fair. Emphasize skills, experiences, and education that are related to your career goals. Career Services can help you with this. Attend a Resume 101 Workshop, Resume Blitz, Resume Drop-In Hours, or make an appointment with your Career Advisor. Make your appointments as early as possible as they tend to fill up quickly during fair time.

Practice Your Interviewing Skills - Some employers are prepared to interview potential candidates at the career fair or very soon after. Set up a mock interview with your Career Advisor now to start practicing your interview skills early.

At the Fair

Make a great first impression - Make eye contact, smile, and say hello. Shake the employer's hand, and introduce yourself with your previously prepared introduction mentioned above.

Ask questions - Ask questions about the company that aren't readily available on their website. Examples: What opportunities are available for someone with my background? I noticed on your website that you're working on.....<project>.... Could you tell me more about that? I heard you saying that you're not hiring right now. When do you anticipate hiring and where would be the best place to check for upcoming job openings? What kinds of things can I be doing now to prepare myself for a job in this field?

Stand out from the crowd - Employers not only look at skills related to the field, but also soft skills such as communication, stress management, confidence, and love of learning. Display these traits while talking to them and provide examples when appropriate.

Be courteous - Don't monopolize the employers' time and be respectful of others waiting to speak with the employer. Don't focus too much on the giveaways. Remember to say please and thank you.

Wrap it up - Towards the end of the conversation, ask if you can offer them your resume or if they prefer that you apply online. Ask for a business card so you can follow up with them after the fair.

After the Fair

Follow up - Sending a thank you note or email after the fair is a good opportunity to remind employers of your interest & skills. Check spelling, grammar and tone before sending!

Did you get an interview or find a great opportunity? Make an appointment with your Career Advisor to get help with interviewing skills, resumes, cover letters, negotiating job offers, and other professional development concerns.

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