Spring 2017 Career Fair
Wednesday, January 18 • 12pm – 4pm • Benson 401
Career fairs help students from all majors gather information and learn about all types of career fields and organizations. Internships and job offers may result directly – or you may be motivated to start your own searches through other channels and utilizing the many resources offered by the OPCD.
To register to attend and to see the complete list of organizations planning to attend, please click here.
Employers and recruiters, please visit the Employer Relations page for more information about recruiting at Wake Forest.
Before the Fair
Adequate preparation helps build confidence and arms you with tools that will help you shine in front of employers.
Top Tips to Prepare
- Research organizations attending the fair (available positions, corporate culture, desired skill sets, on-campus recruiting activities, etc.). An updated list of organizations is available on Handshake.
- Identify the organizations you would like to visit while at the fair. Develop at least two well thought out questions to ask each representative.
- Develop and practice a strong pitch to introduce yourself.
- Get a good night’s sleep, and eat a healthy meal before the fair.
- Dress professionally. View these guides for business professional and business casual attire.
- Bring several copies of your resume printed on resume paper, a padfolio with paper, and a pen for notes.
- Draft a thank you template to be adapted later for each representative you meet.
- Leave your backpack at home. Arrive early. Place your nametag on the upper right side of your chest.
At the Fair
The Career Fair doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Check out these tips to help you navigate your way to making great connections.
Top 10 Tips for During the Career Fair
- Start with organizations that are not your top choices – shake off nerves, practice your introduction, look and listen for feedback, and adjust.
- Greet representatives with a firm handshake, smile, look them in the eye, and thank them for taking the time to meet you.
- If there is a crowd or the representative is already in a conversation, wait patiently to be acknowledged; network with other students in line (learn about employers they have already visited); or go to the next employer on your list and come back later.
- Introduce yourself (see How to Introduce Yourself) and continue the conversation by asking at least two questions for each representative.
- Pay attention to your non-verbal communication (arms open, pleasant facial expressions).
- Take minimal written notes during the conversation. Instead focus on active listening and showing the representatives that you are engaged.
- Pick up the employer’s literature and ask for contact information (a business card if he or she has one) to follow up with additional questions.
- Leave a resume if the representative is collecting them. If not, clarify the best way to apply for a position.
- Smile, thank the representative, and shake his or her hand again upon exiting.
- When at a safe distance, take time to record extensive notes from that conversation on the back of the representative’s business card and/or a notebook before moving on to another company’s table.
How to Introduce Yourself
Give your name and share something about yourself, such as your class year and major, a personality strength, an accomplishment, or goal. Connect this information about yourself with a question for the representative.
- I am a (class year) studying (major).
- I am a (personality trait), (personality trait) ____ major focused on ____.
- I am an (organized, energetic) (Spanish, Philosophy) major with experience in ____.
- Here on campus I am involved in ____.
- Through my involvement in ____, I have ____.
- This past summer, I ____ where my biggest project entailed ____.
- During the year, I ____ but really my work is all about ____.
- Classmates often seek my advice about ____.
- I seek a role in a ____ environment that is ____ and involves ____.
- Ultimately, I want my work to be all about _____.
- I want to work with _____ and help them _____.
Sample Questions for Employers
- What qualities do you look for in job/internship candidates?
- What have you found to be the most important strength/skill/quality to be successful at your organization?
- Are there specific skills, work experience or educational background that can make me more competitive for the (position name)?
- What has been your career path at (organization name)?
- What are the backgrounds of other employees in your organization or department?
- What opportunities are associated with the position?
- What do you like about working at (organization name)?
- What does (breaking news, new account, policy, etc.) mean for the organization? (Keep the subject matter of this question positive.)
- Does your company have formal training programs or do employees receive on-the-job training?
- How does the organization measure performance?
- What do I need to know about the application process?
- Would you mind if I follow up with you with additional questions?
After the Fair
Once the fair ends, you’ll want to continue the conversation and build upon the professional relationships you’ve started.
- Review your notes from the fair and enter contact information/notes in a job search log. Organize any pamphlets collected.
- Write an email and handwritten “thank you” to each representative you met within 24 hours, highlighting points from your discussion. If the representative will be returning to campus, express your interest in meeting again at an information session or campus interview.
- Complete any other action items, such as sending resumes or completing online applications, within 48 hours.
- Approximately two weeks after mailing the thank you notes, call the representative to confirm receipt and to express your continued interest in the organization and desire for an interview.
- Be patient. Some organizations may be “long-term” leads. Don’t expect an immediate response.
Sample Follow-up Email
Dear Ms. Smith:
It was a pleasure meeting you at the Wake Forest Fall Career Fair on Wednesday, September 14th, and to connect with a fellow History major and Wake Forest alumnus. I enjoyed learning more about your work at Goodwill Industries of NC and the various opportunities for nonprofit internships in North Carolina. Wake Forest’s mission of Pro Humanitate aligns closely with my values and was an important part of my decision to attend the university; I would be thrilled to enter into nonprofit management as I continue my path beyond college.
You mentioned during our conversation that you would be willing to talk with me in more detail about other opportunities at nonprofits in North Carolina. Might there be a time for us to speak by phone in the upcoming weeks? Please let me know when you would be available at your earliest convenience.
Thank you again for taking the time out of your busy work schedule to participate in the Wake Forest Fall Career Fair and to share your experiences and knowledge about the nonprofit industry with me. I look forward to hearing back from you.
All the best,
Network Tracking Tool
Consider using this Networking Tracking Tool to help you keep all of your opportunities and contacts in order.