A New Spin on The Old Career Fair

It’s Career Fair season! I’m sure you all have read a lot of information about how to approach employers, how to dress, what to say etc. Well this is a little bit different. I attended a recent job fair and wanted to give you my take on the common situation.

1. Goodie Snatchers

…have no interest in the company or future opportunities, they’re only there to grab the freebies from table to table. It’s always easy to spot them–they usually have a large bag of items and only come up to your table to grab as much as they can (sometimes for friends or family that aren’t there)! Please understand the giveaways that are on the table are meant to be taken–that’s why they’re there–however, being overly eager to take the goods does not put you in a good light. The worst is after they’ve taken you for all you have and then try to have a conversation!

2. The Buddy System

We probably have all done this before, attended a career event with a friend for comfort’s sake. This feels like it puts you at ease. Employers understand that, but make sure you aren’t too comfortable and let your friend do all the talking. Your friend could totally outshine you–she asks all the questions, knows all about the company, is energetic and friendly. You’re just standing there, nervous and afraid. It’s hard enough as an employer remembering all the faces; you definitely don’t want to fall in someone else’s shadow, your friend’s at that!

3. Back Away From the Recruiter

Who doesn’t enjoy personal space! Try not to stand too close, it’s just uncomfortable. If you see the person you’re speaking to slowly backing away, don’t take a step forward. Please.

4. Are you dressed for a Career Fair or Happy Hour?

First impressions speak volumes! I hate to say it, but a part of that impression is how you’re dressed. I’ve heard everything from “I didn’t know there was a fair going on” to “I’m just looking”. In any event, if you decide to strike up a meaningful conversation with an employer dress the part. Skinny jeans and flats are not appropriate attire. This goes for you too men!

5. The Career Guide

Career Services and employers put a lot of effort into the information they hand out regarding their career event. There are colorful ads of sponsors, attendees, and current positions all designed specifically for your use. Review it and make note of the companies that will be there that day that you’re interested in speaking with. Take a step further to highlight the positions that the companies you’re interested in have available. This will give a great starting point for your conversation with the recruiter. Extra points!

I look forward to meeting some of you during my roadshow. Have at it! Hand your resume out to your heart’s content! ‘Tis the season!


Desiree is a University Recruiter at T-Mobile USA. She is currently responsible for developing and implementing effective recruiting and branding strategies related to short and long term needs. She does this by partnering with business line leaders to build relationships and establishing realistic expectations. A big part of being a recruiter at T-Mobile is striving to position T-Mobile as an “employer of choice” and facilitate a world class recruiting experience for candidates. Desiree is also responsible for training managers and recruiters on the University and Internship Program. Desiree spends her free time spending time with family and friends, traveling, and volunteering with various groups. She also loves to read and trying anything that is new and fun.

Related posts:

  1. Standing Out During a Career Fair
  2. Career Fair Tips for Job Seekers
  3. How to Get the Most Out of A Career Fair

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