The Fall 2019 Career Fair and Major Expo is rapidly approaching. If you’re a student or recent graduate in search of career opportunities, you’ll want to be ready on Wednesday, October 2, at 11 a.m. at the Bartow Arena Concourse. Here are a few ways you can prepare to get the most out of your career fair experience. 

Research employers

Review the list of employers to know who you are interested in speaking with ahead of time. Make a list of these employers and conduct a little research on their company, career pages and open positions. You should create a networking strategy, as well. Map out your employers, deciding who you will visit first. Be sure to put the most important employer toward the end of your list to ensure you will be most comfortable when you reach their booth.

Have your resume reviewed

Schedule an appointment or stop by the Career Center (on the first floor of Campbell Hall) during drop-in hours to have your resume reviewed by a career consultant. You can also visit the Career Center for a mock interview. This is a great way to prepare for networking, as you can practice your speaking skills ahead of time.

Prepare your elevator pitch

Preparing a 30-second elevator pitch is essential for any networking event. You need a rapid and well-thought-out response for the moments when employers ask you questions like: 

  • What do you do? 
  • Who are you? 
  • Tell me about yourself? 

Do not start with this elevator pitch right when you introduce yourself to the employer. The best time to give the pitch is when they ask you an applicable question.

Dress to impress

Dressing the part is vital to career fair success. Employers want to see job candidates dressed professionally, which is why we recommend you wear a suit. If you do not have professional business attire, don’t worry -- the Career Center has you covered! In partnership with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, the Career Center has created the Career Closet. This service allows students to check out business attire for up to five days, free of charge. To schedule a fitting, call the UAB Career Center at 205-934-4324. 

Follow up

Follow up is just as important as preparation. Make sure you collect business cards from employers you speak with at the Career Fair. Once the event is over, these business cards can be used to contact employers and nurture valuable relationships. You might even consider writing handwritten thank you notes (or emails) to show your appreciation and interest in working on their team. 

Preparation and follow up are two important steps in career networking. Follow these tips, and you will get the most out of this year’s Career Fair!