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How to Prepare for a Career Fair

Depending on the event, a career fair can have 20 to 200 companies and 250-2,500 students attending. The key to success at a career fair is being prepared. Here are some tips to help you stand out from the crowd and make the most of your career fair experience. View the PDF of Quick Tips and Event Prep Worksheet.

Video: Career Fair Prep (4:06 minutes)

Career Fair Prep Topics Covered Below:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I wear?
A: Wear nice looking clothes - a conservative look helps make a good first impression

Q: What should I bring?
A: 10-20 printed resumes; notebook and pen for taking notes on employer instructions.

Q: Where can I park?
A: Breslin = Ramp 5, Stadium or Munn Arena = Lot 79 and Lot 62W (Note: You may have to pay.)

Q: How can I find a List of employers at the fair?
A: In your Handshake account in the Events -> Career Fairs section.

Q: Is there a Place to put my coat or backpack?
A: January - March events will have coat check areas available.

Q: Will there be Someone to help me at the fair?
A: Career Services has a help desk at the event entrance - we're happy to help you!

Q: Who can I Contact with questions about the fair?
A: Career Services events team (517) 884-1300 and 

Research, Research, Research.

Look at the employers attending the career fair and pick your top 5-10 to visit while at the fair. Then learn more about the employer's opportunities and think about how your skills fit with their needs.

#1 - Review employers attending the fair
Go in to your Handshake account and click on the Events tab then the Find Career Fairs tab: 

Review the list of employers and make note of those you'd like to talk with at the fair. The Favorite link helps you highlight your favorite employers!

#2 - Research your favorite employers at the fair
Once you have created your list of specific employers, research them! Employers want you to be familiar with who they are, what they do, and even recent news. Convenient sources include:

  • Employer website
  • Employer social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Google the employer for recent media coverage and articles
  • Check out employer tips & reviews on Glassdoor

What a Career Fair Is and What to Expect

Career Fair Success Tips in the MSU Career Handbook

Career Fair Prep Worksheet from MSU Career Services

What to Expect

How to Prepare

How to Get Ready For and Behave At a Career Fair

How to Prepare (from Fanshawe College) (2:32)

What to Wear (2:53)

What to Say (2:51)

Your Resume

Resume Instructions in the MSU Career Handbook

A College Student Resume from Top to Bottom (Mercy College):
Headings (1:26)

Experience (1:45)

Leadership & Activities (1:39)

Skills (:42)

What Employers Look For in a Resume (1:39)

What Employers Say About Student Resumes

How to Talk With an Employer

The Elevator Pitch (1:54)

6 Tips for Improving Your Networking Skills (from Complex News) (5:00)


Interviewing Tips in the MSU Career Handbook

Interviewing Tips (lots of resources!) from MSU Career Services

The Interview Breakdown (1:31)

How to Ace an Interview (from Harvard) (5:11)

How to Answer “Behavior Based” Interview Questions" (from The Ohio State University) (6:20)

Following Up After Talking With an Employer

How to Make a Good First Impression in Job Hunting (by Howcast) (1:30)

Students Guide to LinkedIn (slideshow created by LinkedIn)

Following Up After Applying (2:00)

Thank You Notes

Thank You Letter Tips from Career Services

How to Write Thank You Notes (by The Intern Queen) (5:32)
(Applies to any type of job interview, not just internships!)

Post-Interview Thank-You Letter (by HowCast) (1:18)

How To find information about employers at the fair:

  • Log in to your Handshake account
  • Click on the Events tab to see all events
  • Click on the Fair Search tab to see upcoming Career Fairs
  • Click on the Career Fair that interests you
  • Click on the All Employers tab on the Career Fair page
  • Review the list of employers - click on any for more information
  • Click "Favorite" on employers that interest you to create a short list of target companies