Career Fair Checklist for Employers
preparing for the career fair
- Set your goals
Determine who your target students are and what positions you want to fill. Do you have specific majors you want to speak to? Are you only filling internship or entry-level roles? Ensure that your team knows your goals and your plan to achieve them.
- Organize your stuff
Make sure your booth is clear and impactful. Make sure that all your reps have large quantities of business cards. Students are encouraged to follow up with recruiters after the fair. Select and order giveaways if your company permits. Most employers will have them.
- Review the Logistics
Logistics for all Career Fairs are posted on our website. Check and check again that you know the event times and how to find the location (campuses can be insanely complex and often have similarly named places). If you’re in town ahead of time, go check out the location.
Remember to follow through
on any requests your campus contacts
provided. For example, WVU asks that you provide the names of your
representatives ahead of the fair.
Before you go
- Pick the right reps
They should be knowledgeable about your organization as well as the school and programs; ideally, some are alumni of the campus. Your representatives should also be knowledgeable about the specific areas you hire for or work in that area themselves.
- Make sure your jobs are posted
For students to properly prepare to meet with you at the career fair, it’s important that you post your jobs and internships on Handshake before the event.
As a courtesy, Career
Services can assist with getting your positions posted to your Handshake
account. For assistance, email your job descriptions and all relevant
information to email@example.com.
- Have a plan for resumes
Decide if you are going to accept paper resumes at the fair and how you’ll manage them. Does your team have a specific way to score them for follow-ups? Will high potential candidates go into a specific folder/pile of resumes?
If you are not going to accept resumes at the fair, be ready to explain the appropriate application procedure AND be sure students don’t feel brushed away. Students hear “just go to our website” a lot which doesn’t help build relationships.
During the career fair
- Have a plan for high potential candidates
Introduce them to a senior colleague at the booth to give them a sense of progression and promotion. If possible, schedule an interview with them on the spot.
- Talking to students
Focus on the WIIFM—“what’s in it for me”—factor. Be ready to answer those concrete questions: salary, benefits, learning and development, vacations, flextime, work-life balance, etc. When talking to students, culture and values are important so, try to differentiate your company culture. What makes your company stand out?
Don’t assume every student knows a lot about you—many companies have similar sounding names and lots of divisions that do different things; yours may not be one of the companies they researched in advance, but they may still be a good fit. Stay open-minded; remember that many roles you hire for don’t have “performing well at career fairs” as a requirement.
after the career fair ends
- Don't leave yet!
Although things may slow down near the end, don’t leave early. That makes everyone look bad. If you’re shipping materials from the fair, be organized with everything you need—packaging, your courier contact details, and account number, etc.
- Follow-up with each new contact as soon as possible
Meet with your team to consolidate your lists of new candidates and categorize them for following up. Call or email each of the contacts you’ve made as soon as possible. Some may already have interviews booked with other companies—or even job offers.
- Follow-up with campus contacts
Complete any evaluation forms or surveys to help improve the career fair in the future.