Job Fair Information and Tips

Job Fairs

Each year, Stark State partners with the other institutions in the county to host the Greater Canton Collegiate Job & Internship fair.  The next date is Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. More information to come.

Making the Most of the Event

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make an “all out” effort to meet with every employer that has the potential to hire you. In order to make that happen you will need to be prepared. Preparation is the key to making a successful presentation at any job or career fair. Prior to the Event (PREPARE!)

Proper Attire. Dress for Success – Appearance Matters!

Most experts agree that a conservative, professional approach to dress for an interview is best. While the organization, your career field, and the perspective of the person interviewing you all influence expectations, it’s your appearance that makes the first impression. When in doubt, don’t let your appearance risk counting against you!

Recommendations for Men:

  • Dark suits, properly fitted, preferably wool or wool blend
  • Dark dress shoes, polished and buffed (no loafers)
  • Dark dress socks
  • Conservative neck tie (no bright colors or loud patterns)
  • Long-sleeve shirt, even in warm weather
  • Good leather belt (shows your attention to detail)
  • No earrings or other jewelry (wedding or class ring permitted)
  • Well-groomed facial hair
  • No long side burns or long hair
  • Nails – trim and clean

Recommendations for Women:

  • Dark coordinated suits, properly fitted (not provocative), with matching dress blouse (no plunging neckline)
  • Skirt length no more than one inch above the knee
  • Polished matching dress shoes with moderate heel (no open toe/heeled shoes)
  • Neutral colored hose (no runs)
  • Hair past shoulder length pulled away from face
  • Minimal conservative classic jewelry (no flashy, dangling earrings)
  • Natural looking make-up
  • Clear or conservatively colored nail polish, no chipped nail polish

Recommendations for All:

  • Dress watch
  • Carry a nice pen (speaks volumes about your understanding of quality)
  • Fresh breath
  • Freshly bathed/showered (no body odor, use deodorant)
  • Freshly pressed clothing

Avoid These Image Breakers!

  • Heavy cologne/perfume
  • Visible tattoos
  • Visible body piercing
  • Unnatural hair color (purple, green, orange, etc.)
  • Poor posture (stand and sit up straight)
  • Lack of a firm handshake
  • Overstuffed briefcase, bag, or pockets
  • Scuffed shoes
  • Loose or missing buttons
  • Clothing that is wrinkled, too tight, or too big

Job Fair Tips & How To Prepare:

  • Clarify your goals: What do you hope to get out of the job fair? Are your expectations consistent with the purpose of the event?
  • Review the website for a listing of the employers attending. Identify those that are looking for candidates with your qualifications.
  • Click on the links to do some research to find out some basic information about those organizations and their hiring needs.
  • Prepare a one minute “commercial” that introduces yourself, demonstrates that you know something about the organization, expressing why you are interested in the organization or field and briefly relate your background to what you know about the employer’s needs.
  • Practice your “commercial.” In addition, prepare three or four questions you can ask the recruiter.
  • Dress and act professionally. As always, good grooming is essential. The top twelve inches of your body are the most noticeable, not only for neatness and style, but also for anything distracting, like too much jewelry, heavy makeup or a messy hairstyle. For business occasions, the look should be tailored. (click on Dress for more details.)
  • Make sure you have enough copies of your resume – between 20 and 30.

During the Event:

  • Take five minutes at the door to review the list of attending companies. Highlight those that will be hiring people with your qualifications so you can organize your time efficiently.
  • Show interest and enthusiasm by smiling and speaking clearly. Walk confidently with good posture. Make direct eye contact and shake hands firmly. Have a positive greeting: “Hello, I’m Chris Smith. I’m a business major and will graduate in May. It is good to see your company here – I’m interested in talking to you about …”
  • Body language can often speak louder that words:
  1. Do not fidget, or play with your hair.
  2. Do not rock from side to side.
  3. Do not look around when talking or being spoken to.
  4. Do not chew gum.

Answer questions clearly and concisely.

  • Ask appropriate questions. (For example, don’t ask about salary or what the company does if it is in the published information.)
  • Questions for representatives at the job fair … First and foremost, questions should be natural. Be yourself. Don’t rifle your questions; maintain a natural flow.
  1. What kind of entry-level positions exist within your organization.
  2. What goals does your company have for the 2000’s
  3. How many employees does your company have?
  4. How many employees are in my area of interest (which is …)
  5. Does your company hire on a continual basis or just at certain times of the year?
  6. How long does the hiring process take?
  7. What does your organization consider the five most important qualities in an employee?
  8. Are bachelor/graduate degrees important? If so, in what areas?
  9. What courses do you suggest in order to be a successful candidate?
  10. Is there a G.P.A. cut-off in the recruiting process?
  11. What personality traits are important for success in your company?
  12. As an entry-level employee, what can I expect to be doing 2, 5, 10 years from now?
  13. What made you choose this company?
  14. How long have you been with the company?
  15. What things has your organization accomplished of which you are especially proud?
  16. For how many years does the entry-level employee typically stay with the company?
  17. What percent of applicants are eventually hired?
  18. What is the retention rate in this company?
  19. Do you expect your employees to relocate?
  • Ask if they are collecting resumes. Ask for a business card (you’ll want to follow up on interesting leads.) Thank them for their time. Pick up company recruiting information too, not just the give-a-ways.

Follow Up:

  • Since you have business cards and company information, you can write individualized follow-up letters (include resumes) to appropriate employers, expressing your interest. Mailing a thank-you letter is not only appropriate; it can bring attention to your name for future hiring decisions.