Make the Most Out of Your Career Fair Experience

MBA Career Fair success lies in effective preparation and communication. Make sure to research the employers that you want to visit. It is important to learn about their companies and overall industrues, as well as the positions they are looking to fill and what type of candidates they are looking for. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your next MBA career fair:

  1. Arrive with a positive attitude and have your 30-second commercial or "pitch" ready.
  2. Bring at least 20 copies of your resume. Employers only look at resumes for an average of 10 seconds. You will want to make sure you leave employers with the best impression possible. Check out the MBA Resume Workbook for advice on how to construct the ultimate resume, and/or check out MBA Sample Resume 1, MBA Sample Resume 2 and MBA Sample Resume 3 for guidance.
  3. Do your research! The more you know about a company, the more you can converse with the company representative and the more memorable you will be.
  4. Plan a few key questions! Be ready to ask intelligent questions like asking how your skills might be utilized within the framework of the company and by asking questions about relevant news within that organization. Make sure to ask the recruiter what he or she likes best about the corporate culture to better assess if that company is right for you.
  5. Get the interviewer's business card. If you are called for an interview, you will want to follow up with a letter that reinforces the points you made and the facts you learned.
  6. Maximize, Maximize, Maximize! The lines for employers might be daunting, but don't fail to maximize this opportunity. Talk to every company that fits your experience and ambitions. If you meet with 20 recruiters, at the end of the day you will know 20 people by name. That sure beats sending a blind resume to "Recruiting Director."
  7. Wear proper business attire. First impressions count! Check out InternshipGPS' article Dress to Impress for more tips for how to dress for such events.
  8. Follow-up. Some would say it is one of the most important. You would be surprised at how few job-seekers actually take the time to follow-up their career fair interviews, thus when you do it, you will have an edge over the many others who do not. There are two main methods of follow-up. Some experts suggest actually calling the recruiter the evening of the fair and leaving a voicemail message thanking the recruiter again for his/her time that day. A more concrete and traditional method is to write a thank you note and mail it the next day to the address on the recruiter's business card. In the letter, thank the recruiter for his/her time, restate your interest and qualifications for the position, reiterate your interest in a second interview, and make a promise to follow-up the letter with a phone call (and then make sure you do in fact call). You probably should enclose another copy of your resume to be sure. What should the thank you letter look like? Here is a sample thank you letter to a career fair recruiter.