Six Steps to Prepare for a Career Fair

Posted by Deea Deb on September 14, 2021

Academic Success | Careers

Image with a keyboard, laptop, notepad and pen and text "Six ways to prepare for a career fair"

Have you ever been to a Career Fair? Career Education & Development (CED)’s Career Fairs happen twice a year in September and January. These are a great opportunity for students to meet future employers who are looking to hire York students for full-time, part-time, summer and internship positions. Even if you are not close to graduating soon, it is a good idea to attend these fairs and network with the employers or get a feel for what it is like to network. But before you jump into this, we recommend being prepared. This YUBlog is here to give you some ideas on how to prepare for a Career Fair.

Before you do anything else, you need to bookmark Career Education & Development’s website.

Step 1: Choosing Your Path

If you are completely new to the professional world and not sure about which career path would suit you or you would be interested in, CED has a really cool webinar on personality and career choice. This webinar will provide you with an introduction to the Myers—Briggs Type Indicator, one of the most widely used assessment tools, and you will discover how learning about your personality type can help guide you with your career decision-making. Check out CED’s events calendar to find the session that works for you! 

Step 2: Writing Your Resumé and Cover Letter 

A paper on a clipboard with the text "resume" and a laptop
Make sure your resume lists all your key accomplishments!

Once you have an idea of what you would like to do, the first step to taking any career path is to have a solid resumé and cover letter. If you are new to writing a resumé or a cover letter, CED hosts workshops to let you in on pro tips and tricks that will make you stand out.  

Step 3: Creating/Updating your LinkedIn Profile 

LinkedIn is a great professional networking platform that you can use to make lasting connections with prospective employers, your colleagues, professors and anyone who can help refer you to organizations or provide a recommendation. CED has an awesome workshop on how to set up and effectively use LinkedIn. Make sure to sign up and get your profile in order.  

Step 4: Job Hunting and Networking 

Job hunting is easy when it comes to Career Fairs—just show up!  

While networking, your main goal is establishing a rapport with the employer. It is a good idea to ask questions and be an active listener. You could ask questions like:  

  • How has your experience been working in this field? 
  • What kind of people are you looking for? 
  • What type of training is needed for this position? 
  • What advice would you give to new graduates? 
  • What is the company culture like? 
  • May I connect with you on LinkedIn? 

Use their responses to guide the rest of the conversation, whether you would like to work at the company, be introduced to more industry contacts or talk about your experiences. Be cognizant of the amount of time you are taking to talk to the employer (there are other students who would like to talk to them as well!) and be sure to get their contact information (LinkedIn or email or phone number) so you can follow-up on the conversation. 

Step 5: Prepare for Interviews 

Two professional women sitting and speaking to each other
Don’t forget to practice your interview skills with a family member, friend, or roommate before you go for an interview! 

To approach an interview or networking event with confidence, attend CED’s interview preparation webinar. At this webinar, you will be able to learn how you can influence the first impression you make and show your best self while answering employers’ questions. 

Step 6: Look the Part 

It is not enough to have a shiny resumé and cover letter. You need to look professional too. Remember that a first impression can be a lasting impression. Unlike some lectures and tutorials, we cannot (and should not) rollout of our beds and into an interview. So, make sure that you dress for the occasion and look your best at the Career Fair.  

Success Tip: Since the dress code varies from company to company, you can always check with them if there is a dress code when you are invited for an interview. This way, you can be prepared, and they know that you are serious about the job. 

Follow these steps and you will be prepared for any Career or Job Fair.  

You can find all the workshops and webinars that we’ve mentioned above on CED’s events page. Check out what they have in store for you  ahead of the Career Fair and register for the ones that you need help with!  

Let us know in the comments below if you have attended any of these workshops and how they’ve helped you! 

To stay up to date on campus life and events, connect with York on social media. You can follow us on Facebook @YorkUStudents, Twitter @YorkUStudents, Instagram @studentlifeyu and with our weekly This Week @ York emails. 

Deea Deb
Deea Deb

Deea Deb is a third-year English and Professional Writing major at York University. She loves reading, travelling, being organized, and writing. She hopes to help York students succeed at university.

See other posts by Deea Deb