You're welcome to just show up and browse, but you'll make the most of your Career Fair experience if you do a bit of prep.
Below are some tips and FAQs to get you started. Need help honing your introduction, practicing your handshake, polishing your resume, or developing a strategy for connecting with employers? CES can help. Just ask!
Before the Fair:
- Prepare an introduction. This will help you approach employers with ease.
- Actively seeking opportunities? Prepare a resume and bring several copies.
Make an appointment* with a CES career advisor before the Fair to have your resume critiqued.
- Plan to dress professionally to make the best impression.
A suit is not required. However, especially if you're seeking opportunities, we recommend that you dress nicely. If you're uncertain, bring your outfit to CES beforehand. We'd be happy to give you pointers. No time to change? Or just browsing? Attend regardless of your attire. Well, maybe not jammies. :-)
- Familiarize yourself with Career Fair organizations, listed in Handshake. Consider searching the ASK Network on LinkedIn for Logger alumni who work at companies that are attending the fair.
- Prepare additional questions in advance.
What is it that you want to know about a particular organization? Remember, you can often find the answers to basic questions by doing some research prior to the Fair. You will set yourself apart from others if you prepare thoughtful questions that dig a bit deeper.
*In addition to appointments, CES typically offers extended walk-in advising hours prior to the Fair. Check the calendar for details.
During the Fair:
- Need last-minute tips, suggestions for organizations* and opportunities that fit your interests, or a quick pep talk? CES staff are available to chat! (Nervous? Organizations with Puget Sound alumni are always a good place to start!)
- Greet the representative, shake hands, smile and introduce yourself.
- Visit *all* the tables. Why?
- Practice makes perfect! Use this as an opportunity to hone your skills of meeting employers and asking them questions. You'll become more comfortable with each greeting.
- Employers often hire from a wide variety of majors, and may offer career options that you wouldn't expect. Take the time to ask questions and learn about each organization.
- Ask recruiters questions to learn more about their organization. For instance:
- Are there particular majors that enter this field?
- What do you like about working for this organization/in this field?
- What are some of the challenges associated with working for this organization/in this field?
- How does the hiring process work?
- How do you train new employees?
- Is there a typical advancement pattern for new employees?
Thank the representative for their time. If you want to pursue opportunities with an organization:
- Collect a business card from the representative. This will ensure you have the correct spelling and address for your follow up.
- Send a thank you card, letter, or e-mail within 24 hours of the Fair.
What types of opportunities are available?
Because every job is part of your career path, Career Fairs bring to campus employers with a variety of opportunities. Part-time, full-time, and seasonal jobs and internships are all available.
Undeclared? Get ideas for careers you might pursue and find out what majors enter that field.
Considering an internship or summer job? Many employers have internship programs or seasonal opportunities. (A short-term experience with an employer can give you great insight into that field.)
Not graduating this year? Since there's no pressure to land a job, you can get comfortable introducing yourself to employers and practice asking them questions.
Graduating this year? Prepare ahead of time by researching the employers who are participating and by using the Career Fair tips above. Dress nicely, bring your resume and make a great first impression with your handshake and smile...you may walk away with an interview!
EVERYBODY! The more students who attend Career Fairs, the more attractive Puget Sound is to potential employers.
Most organizations that attend are eager to hire Puget Sound students regardless of their major because you're building the communication, critical thinking, teamwork, leadership, and other skills they're seeking. If your dream employer isn't there, we encourage you to attend anyway—it's great networking practice—and if you keep an open mind, you might be surprised by what some of the organizations have to offer.
Look at organization websites and search for a "careers" or "employment" section to learn about their hiring process, and available positions. To gather further information about this employer or field:
- Search the ASK Network group on LinkedIn to see if there are Puget Sound alumni working in organizations or in fields that interest you, and contact them for an informational interview.
- Use your networks. Tell everybody you know that you're interested in a particular field or employer. You never know...your roommate's sister's best friend may have a cousin who works for that employer or in that field.
- Visit CES and meet with a career advisor. We can help you design an action plan to meet your individual job search needs.