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Career fairs are the best events to learn about several opportunities and businesses in a short amount of time. Our events bring in employers from many local and national companies seeking to hire CU Boulder students in a variety of different roles. Whether the fair you are attending is in person or virtal, we have provided a few quick tips to help you before, during and after a career fair. 

Before an in-person career fair


Prepare your resume

Create a resume that highlights your skills, abilities and experience. Develop a tailored resume for each type of employer you want to meet with.

Do some research

You can see a list of employers who plan to attend the career fair on Handshake. Make a list of employer you’d like to speak with, and familiarize yourself with their products, services and recent news.

Practice your elevator pitch

Practice introducing yourself and letting employers know what you’re looking for. Start by stating your name, year in school, major or area of interest, and talk about some relevant skills or experiences. Ask questions to start the conversation with the employer.

What to bring

  • Buff OneCard
  • Copies of your resume
  • Pen and paper
  • Padfolio or small bag

During the career fair


Introduce yourself

Walk up to a recruiter, smile, and say hello. Establish eye contact and begin your eleva tor pitch. Stay positive and maintain a friendly attitude as you talk with employers. You will most likely take the lead in conversations, so be sure to ask thoughtful questions. Allow yourself to have some extra time at the fair for longer conversations and wait times.

Ask questions

Come prepared with two or three questions to ask each employer. These should be related to the company or the positions they are recruiting for. So some research before the fair event to make sure your questions are insightful and not easily
answered by looking at their website. Show your interest and knowledge in their company and position.

Sample questions to ask

  • I see that you are a CU Boulder alum. How did getting a degree here help you prepare for the position you are in now?
  • I read that your company just started a project doing ____. What opportunities would an intern/new employee have in this project?
  • What do you like most about your job and working for ____?
  • I am interesting in following up with you about your job opening. Could you tell me the next steps in the process? Could you give me your email address so that I can follow up with you in a few days?

After the career fair


Jot down some notes

After speaking with an employer, write down a few things that you discussed and what you liked or didn’t like about the company. You’ll want to reference these notes later to recall the conversation if you’re asked to come in for an interview.

Follow up

If you received a business card or contact information from a company representative, send them an email. Reintroduce yourself and thank them for their time. Use your notes to recall something that you discussed or enjoyed about the conversation, and let them know you’re interested in moving to the next step in the process.

 

Prepare for a virtual career fair


Do your research

  • Log in to your Handshake account to review the list of employers who are attending the career fair. 
  • Make a list of the employers you’d like to speak with, and familiarize yourself with their products, services and recent news.

Schedule times to chat with employers

  • Once you have your list of employers you’d like to connect with at a virtual fair, your next step is to schedule time with each of them. In Handshake, click on an employer's logo and go to their “Jobs” tab. Before you can select a time you must apply to the employer’s schedule. Apply to the "Virtual Chat with Employer X” posting to schedule time with them during the virtual fair. Once you apply, you will have access to an employer's chat schedule where you can choose a 15-minute time slot that fits into your schedule to chat.
  • Your scheduled chats will appear in your "On-Campus Interviews" tab on Handshake. 
  • Instructions for how to connect with each employer at the virtual fair will be in their schedules, and will be emailed to you prior to your scheduled chat.

Prepare and practice

  • Make sure you have a resume that highlights your skills, abilities and experience. Review these tips for creating a memorable resume.
  • Practice introducing yourself and letting employers know what you’re looking for. Start by stating your name, year in school, major or area of interest and talk about some relevant skills or experiences. 
  • Think of some questions to ask to help start a conversation with an employer.

Get organized

  • If you’re using a virtual program to connect with the employer, like Zoom or Skype, test it before your scheduled time. Additionally, be mindful of your background if you have a video chat scheduled with an employer.
  • Whether you have a video chat or a phone call scheduled, dress professionally from head to toe. Consider wearing a nice button-up shirt or blouse with a blazer, and paired with slacks or a skirt. Dressing up can put you in a better mindset and help you make a good first impression if you’re on camera. 
  • Have a notebook and pen nearby as well. After speaking with employers, write down a few things that you discussed. Take note of what you liked or didn’t like about the company. You’ll want to reference these notes later to recall the conversation if you’re asked to schedule an interview.

Follow up

  • If you received contact information from a company representative, send them an email following your conversation. Reintroduce yourself (they will chat with many students at the fair) and thank them for their time. Use your notes to recall something that you discussed or enjoyed about the conversation, and let them know you’re interested in moving to the next step in the process.
  • Check our events calendar to see if they will be attending another upcoming event to further connect.

 

Upcoming Career Fairs and Networking Events