How to Prepare for the Job and Internship Fair
Success at a job and internship fair, either virtual or in-person, requires preparation. You’ll need a top-quality resume, knowledge about the employers attending the fair, a game plan for your day, and, of course, your professional attire! Utilize our resources below to prepare for the fair.
1. A great resume or CV is a must! Your resume needs to be more than a long list of jobs and tasks; it needs to reflect that you have the skills employers seek. Utilize our Career Guide for helpful tips on writing a resume. Once you’ve created your resume or CV upload it to VMock, our online resume review platform, for instant and personalized feedback with line-by-line suggestions. You can also download a resume template from VMock if you are creating your first resume. Once your resume has been updated, you can meet with Fleishman Center staff for additional feedback.
2. Craft Your 30-Second Commercial. This is how you will begin conversations with employers! Decide what you want to say and how you want to say it. Tips can be found in our Career Guide, and you might find it helpful to watch a video for some ideas. Practice saying your pitch out loud using Big Interview (answer the “tell me about yourself question” and review how you did!). For feedback, schedule a Zoom appointment in hireBING with a Fleishman Center staff member.
3. Create a “game plan”!
Job and internship fairs can be overwhelming – in addition to hundreds of attendees, employers frequently bring several representatives. The resulting noise and crowds can be distracting you if you aren’t prepared. Review the list of employers attending the fair in hireBING well in advance, educate yourself on who they are, and what types of positions they have available, then make a priority list.
For a virtual fair in hireBING by Handshake, you may need to schedule your 1:1 or group employer sessions in advance. Spots are limited and will fill up fast! Registration closes when a session reaches maximum capacity, so don’t wait too long to make your schedule!
- Sign up for employer group sessions: Attend a group info session with a recruiter and a larger group of students. These sessions will include an employer presentation followed by student Q&A! These sessions are open to all students.
- Sign up for 1:1 meetings with employers: Meet individually with an employer during your scheduled session through video, audio and chat! This is a great way to make a good impression with employers and get one-on-one facetime. Note: If you are unable to sign up for 1:1 sessions, you may not meet the employer qualifications of major and class year.
4. Do your research on employers!
Now that you know which employers you plan to meet with, make sure you research them! Check to see if they have positions already posted in hireBING. Identify their needs and figure out how you meet those needs! Make sure you have a few questions prepared to ask recruiters as well.
5. Get ready to make a strong first impression!
It’s important to make a strong and professional first impression – whether connecting with employers in-person or virtually. Having a clean, neat appearance is important and you should dress to impress! Business casual, at a minimum, is recommended for a fair – even a virtual one!
In a virtual setting, there are a few extra things you should be aware of and conscious about. First, make sure your audio and video are good to go. It’s recommended that you have your video on, however if your environment makes that difficult, use a professional headshot in place of a blank screen and make sure your name appears correctly. Second, when using video, make sure your background is appropriate for a work setting and isn’t too messy or distracting. Be aware of your audio as well! If you’re in a noisy environment, be prepared to mute yourself between questions or while you aren’t speaking. Lastly, wear the same attire you would for an in-person fair. Your clothing should be appropriate for a work or business setting.
6. Update your hireBING profile! Many employers will be using hireBING to collect resumes. Login to your account (every matriculated student has access to an account!) and update your profile with current GPA, major and graduation date information, plus upload a current resume so employers can easily download a copy. While in there, review job/internship postings – especially from employers attending the fair!
7. Attend Career Education Workshops! The Fleishman Center hosts several workshops on a variety of topics to help you prepare for the fair, including resume best practices, how to craft your 30-second commercial, and more! Attend any of these programs to enhance your job search strategies and skills. If you can’t make a live session, you can access recordings of our workshops in the Fleishman Center’s On-Demand Video Library!
8. Meet with a career consultant!
Fleishman Center staff are ready to help with any fair-related questions you might have, including:
- Determining which employers you should meet with at the fair based on your interests
- Feedback on your 30 second commercial and tips on speaking with recruiters
- Resume/CV reviews
- Any fair-related question!
- Job/Internship searching beyond the fair
Schedule your appointment in hireBING!
9. Be confident!
If you are prepared, friendly, well-practiced, and follow up with your new connections — you’ll be well on your way to making a great impression with recruiters!
For questions or additional help preparing for the fair, you can meet with Fleishman Center staff during by scheduling an appointment in hireBING. Keep in mind, the Fleishman Center gets very busy in the days leading up to these events. Visit us early to ensure you get the assistance you need!
If you have questions about any of the Fleishman Centers services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.