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Approaching Recruiters at Fall Career Days

Career fairs are unique in that you have a limited time to pitch your skills to an employer. Be prepared before attending so that you can display confidence.

Use your pitch

Be confident in what to say.

Use the elevator pitch you developed before the fair when you approach recruiters.

Confidence is key

You've got this.

Avoid the nerves and embrace your confidence. You have the education and skills necessary to be successful - let them speak for themselves. 

  • Offer a firm handshake
    Approach the recruiter with your resume in one hand; shake their hand with the other. Offer your resumé, then start your pitch while they review your materials to get the conversation moving.

  • Make natural eye contact
    Keep the focus on the recruiter and look them in the eye. It shows confidence and a professional attitude.

  • Be enthusiastic and polished
    Don't be afraid to show your enthusiasm in the position. Be yourself and smile, stand tall, and sell the recruiter on your qualifications with great body language.

  • Ask to continue the conversation
    Ask for the recruiter's name and contact information. Reach out after the conversation via LinkedIn or send a polite email thanking them for meeting with you. Don't forget to send along any materials that they may request of you. 

Focus

Get in the zone.

There are a ton of distracting noises and movements at the Bryce Jordan Center during Fall Career Days. Keep the focus on the recruiter and your conversation.

  • Speak up
    It is LOUD in the Bryce Jordan Center. Speak up so the recruiter can clearly hear you.

  • Turn off devices
    Don't be that candidate. Turn off your phones and devices so that you can focus on the recruiter and show your interest.

  • Take notes before and after
    Think about your experience and interests and how they apply to the company. Did the research you conducted in a class relate to what the company is working on? Was your internship focused in a similar industry? How did your summer job contribute to your development of the qualities they list in their mission statement?

    Write down details about your conversation immediately after so that you don't forget. Reference these at later networking events or in a thank you note. Did they mention an exciting new project at work or a shared interest? Use these details to be more memorable.

Ask questions

Keep the conversation moving.

Do not rely on the recruiter to keep the conversation moving along. Prepare some questions in advance so you can show interest and avoid any awkward silences.

  • What are common career paths within your organization?
  • What does the training program for new hires look like?
  • What experience and education do you look for in ideal candidates?
  • What types of experiences do interns usually have at your firm?
“ Don’t be shy. Talk to anyone and everyone you want to, no matter how nervous you might be. Just remember to act professional and confident. The more you put yourself and your name out there by talking to various people from different companies, the more confident and comfortable you’ll get. ”
Sarah, Junior

Navigating Fall Career Days

The Bryce Jordan Center is a large venue that fills with thousands of students and recruiters during FCD. Understanding how to get around before the fair removes the stress and helps you maximize your time.

  • DOWNLOAD THE APP
    Search for "Penn State Career Success" in your device app store to download now. Navigate the fair with wayfinding, get alerts, and flag favorite companies.
Schedule of Events

Career Fair Dates

  • Tuesday, September 11
    Non-Technical, Full-Time Day

  • Wednesday, September 12
    Internship and Co-op Day

  • Thursday, September 13
    Technical, Full-Time Day

Know where to go
  • Students must check-in upon arrival in one of two areas:

    • GATE A
      Corner of Bigler/University

    • GATE B
      Corner nearest the All-Sports Museum

  • Bring your student ID to enter the fair.
    Students do not need to pre-register. 

  • Download the app.
    Navigate using the app, flag favorite companies, and more using the Fall Career Days app. Search "Penn State Career Success" in your app store.

  • Pick up a map at student registration.
    This will include a list of all companies attending along with their booth location.

  • All employers attending Fall Career Days are located in three distinct areas:

    • Concourse (LEVEL THREE)

    • Arena Floor (LEVEL ONE)

    • South Annex (LEVEL ONE)

  • Coat racks are available at GATE A. 
    COATS ONLY. Any bags will be removed in accordance with the BJC bag policy (see below). Items are left at your own risk and neither Fall Career Days nor the BJC are liable for any lost belongings. 

  • View a map of the Bryce Jordan Center

Bag and Backpack Policy

NOTICE: NO BAG POLICY IN EFFECT

In accordance with new University policy surrounding events, particularly those at sporting event facilities, bags of any kind—including backpacks, purses, and clutches—will no longer be allowed at the Bryce Jordan Center.  Fall Career Days staff strongly discourage students from bringing any bags to the event.

  • Students who bring bags with them will be subjected to a lengthy security check at the entrance to the BJC.  BJC security staff reserve the right to reject bags if they have any concerns.  Approved bags will be tagged and students must keep the bags with them at all times during the event.  A coat and umbrella check will still be available, if needed; however, to speed their access into the event, students should not bring these items unless they are necessary. 

  • Disposable bags will be provided at check-in for materials that students may gather from employers during the event. 

  • Students may bring a portfolio containing copies of their résumés, note paper, their Penn State student ID card, and a pen; a jump drive with an electronic version of their résumé is also recommended. 

  • We strongly discourage students from bringing laptops or tablet computers to Fall Career Days. These items cannot be checked with coats and umbrellas and must be carried with students at all times during the event.

Interviewing Dates

Interviewing Dates

Some employers choose to host interviews in conjunction with the career fair. Interview locations vary across campus.

  • Wednesday, September 12
    Interviews for full-time, non-technical positions
  • Thursday, September 13
    Interviews for internship/co-op positions
  • Friday, September 14
    Interviews for full-time, technical positions

PRO TIP:
If you are offered an interview make sure to note where your interview location is when you schedule one with an employer.

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During the Fair