Career and Internship Fairs
Career and internship fairs are great opportunities for meeting employers. To prepare for success, navigate through each of the sections below.
Before the Fair
Research Companies and Organizations Attending
Research the companies and organizations attending the event. Based on your occupations of interest, determine which employers you want to speak with, or target, at the event. Be sure to note the type of students in which the company or organization is interested. For example, a non-profit organization may be looking to hire an accounting intern, while a financial services organization may need to hire a human resources employee. Conduct research on your target employers by reviewing the company’s website, checking Gorlok Career Link and the company’s website for available job or internship openings, and doing a Google News search for recent company headlines.
Create or revise your resume. Upload your well-written resume to Gorlok Career Link and bring copies to the fair. Not all employers will accept paper resumes, but bringing them shows that you are prepared and that you planned ahead. Seek assistance from the Career Planning & Development Center as you create your first resume or hone an existing one. Utilize the CPDC's Walk-In Hours or schedule an appointment with a career advisor through Gorlok Career Link, stopping by the CPDC, or calling the Career Planning & Development Center at 314-968-6982.
Prepare to initiate conversations with employers at the fair by practicing your personal introduction. Include your name, major, graduation date, and a summary of your skills and qualifications in a brief 30-60 second intro (or "commercial"), then express interest in the employer. Some students will introduce themselves to an employer by explaining their professional and academic present, past, and future (goals).
Check Professional Attire
Be sure that your suit or professional outfit fits well and that it is clean and pressed. If you need to purchase professional attire, consider shopping at upscale resale shops like the ScholarShop and Rung. Large retail stores also have affordable options. View the Career Planning & Development Center’s Pinterest account for examples of professional attire.
During the Fair
Appear and Act Professionally
On the day of the fair, wear professional attire, including a name tag which the CPDC will provide to you at the event. Bring a portfolio or folder with a pen, copies of your resume, and a list of target companies with whom you hope to connect. Present yourself in an approachable and confident manner. Introduce yourself with a firm handshake, maintain eye contact, and be attentive to non-verbal communication from company and organization representatives. Be polite, and avoid cell phone use (calls and texts) during the fair.
Ask thoughtful and appropriate questions. Sample questions include:
- Describe the type of employees and/or skills you are seeking.
- What are the top three needs at (company name) or in (department name)?
- Describe your experiences at (company name).
- How did you get into this career field/organization?
- What type of internships, jobs, or volunteer positions does your organization have available?
Ask for the employer’s business card when appropriate and gather any available literature. Note that it is inappropriate to ask questions about salary in this setting.
Following a conversation with an employer, take a few minutes to step aside to a quiet spot to jot down notes about your impressions or questions you'd like to ask when you follow up. Some students will write notes on the back of an employer’s business card to make follow-up easier.
Abide by the Webster University Code of Conduct
Participants are expected to follow the policies and procedures that are outlined in the Webster University Student Code of Conduct.
After the Fair
Send Follow-Up Notes
Send a thank you or a follow-up note (email or written) to companies and organizations with whom you spoke at the fair. Use the business cards and notes you took during the fair to make your follow up specific.
Apply to Openings
If employers at the fair suggest that you apply via their company website, be sure to follow through and apply. Many employers cannot consider candidates unless they have formally applied through the company’s applicant tracking system. Even if you handed a resume to an employer, check their website for a formal online application system.
Organize Your Information
A strategic approach for a successful job or internship search is organization. Track the employers you are interested in, positions you have applied to, and document all follow-up notes. You can use a tracking spreadsheet or another preferred method to keep yourself organized.
Career Planning & Development Center
568 Garden Avenue | St. Louis, MO 63119
314-968-6982 (Toll Free: 800-981-9805)
Monday - Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Spring 2017 Walk-In Hours
Walk-In Hours are available when undergraduate classes are in session.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays:
Learn about topics you can discuss during your 10-15 minute meeting.