Best Practices for a Career Fair

Learn the best practices to succeed in a virtual career fair:

 

Before the Fair

Register in Advance

Create your profile in advance to link your résumé and Linkedln profile to your account. Save time the day of the fair and jump right in line.

Research, Research, Research

This step is VITAL. Review the list of registered employers and take the time to visit their website. Note their mission, products and services, and advertised positions. Check the organization out on Linkedln and see if they employ any Penn State graduates. Make notes of information to share with your targeted list of employers.

  • EXAMPLE: XYZ Organization is advertising a technical writing position that documents the stages of pharmaceutical development - share my summer job experience writing grant applications with Penn State's Prevention Research Center.

Update Your Résumé and LinkedIn Profile

Make sure all information is up-to-date and accurate. Schedule a career coaching appointment with a career counselor to have your materials and profile reviewed.

Save Your Résumé

Make sure to have your updated résumé saved somewhere you can access it quickly. Consider having a Word document and PDF available.

Do a Test Run

Test your internet connection and get a feel for what the event looks like, if possible.

Write down What You Want to Say

The majority of the fair is chat-based. Type out the information you want to share with employers in another document so you can easily copy and paste. Customize the answer for that specific employer before sending it.

Dress for Success

Not only will you act more confidently when you dress the part but you'll be prepared if an employer asks to video chat.
 

During the Fair

Take the Leap and Enter a Booth

There may be waiting times or a virtual queue. Be patient since this is a new experience for many and understand wait times can drastically change.

Keep It Professional

Avoid using text abbreviations, IRL.

Share Your Career Interests and Provide Examples

Talk about how you've built knowledge or had experiences that connect with the organization.

  • EXAMPLE: My involvement in THON, a fundraiser benefiting children and families affected by pediatric cancer, gave me a platform to create fundraising events. With my committee, we successfully raised over $3,000. This inspired me to seek a position where I can be involved in health-related fundraising.

Ask Questions

Have some questions prepared before you enter the virtual booth.

  • EXAMPLE: What are some of your main hiring needs currently? EXAMPLE: What are some examples of projects that your recent hires are working on? EXAMPLE: What are some of the organization's strengths and what are areas you are trying to improve?

Take Notes

Jot down notes during the conversation so you can reference them later. Make sure to write down contact information and action steps the recruiter provides, like formally applying on the organization website.

Offer to Share Your Résumé and Cover Letter

 

After the Fair

Listen to Employer Recommendations

Take the time to do what the recruiter tells you to do. Apply online, send a résumé, or share supplemental materials.

Send a Thank You

Follow-up with a recruiter and send a quick thank you message. Indicate your interest in moving forward and continuing the process.

Network and Connect

Connect with recruiters or professionals in an organization of interest on Linkedln. Follow the organization on Linkedln and be active by posting comments or questions related to your goals. Connect with Penn State alumni to ask about their career journey using LionLink.

Get Career Support for the Next Steps

Attending a virtual or in person fair is one of many steps you take to achieve your career goals. Connect with a career counselor to ask questions, talk through concerns, and create an action plan.