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Career Fair Prep 101

Being prepared for The Impact & Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) career fair is key to building confidence.

Research, Research, Research

Be knowledgable and prepared.

Be efficient and maximize your time by researching organizations in advance.

  • See who is attending The Impact & Earth and Mineral Science (EMS) Fair
    Make sure to search the database to see who is attending. Make note of where the organization will be located, and what openings they are seeking to fill.

    • PRO TIP:
      Researching helps you avoid waiting for an organization that doesn't align with your job or internship search.

  • Do a targeted search
    Make the database work for you. Targeted searches narrow companies and help you find the best fit.

    • Check for visa sponsorship
      Some organizations can offer visa sponsorship. Search based on the sponsorship field to make sure you're looking at companies who can sponsor.

  • Make a top list of organizations
    Limited time mean you need to be efficient and target companies you are most interested in.

  • Visit company websites and social media platforms
    Do some additional research on the organization. Show your interest by looking at products or services they provide, their mission statement, company goals, or new initiatives.

  • Write down questions
    Keep a list of questions you can ask during the event or in a follow-up conversation. 

Prepare your Materials

Show your skills.

  • Build your resumé
    Your resumé is one of the key ways you demonstrate your abilities and show what makes you a great candidate.

    Get started sooner rather than later to give yourself time to edit. Think about the positions you are interested in, what experiences you've had, and what makes you stand out as a qualified candidate.

  • Have your resumé reviewed
    Stop by Career Services during drop-in hours to have someone take a look.

  • Make extra copies of your resumé
    Always be prepared with plenty of copies. Recruiters like to collect the hard copy and you never want to be the candidate who has run out of materials.

  • Bring several pens and something to write on
    Write down your questions and notes about the company in advance so you have them for reference.

    After each interaction, take notes so you don't forget the details. Did the recruiter mention the next steps for applying? A new project the organization is working on? If you scheduled an interview, where was it? Be sure to note these important details.

    Make sure to get contact information for thank you notes and following-up. Mentioning specific details from a conversation at the event will make you stand out from other candidates.

Create your Pitch

Be confident in what you say.

An elevator pitch is a roughly 30-second introduction that gives you the chance to initiate a conversation with a recruiter and highlight your skills.

  • Share who you are.
    Your resumé will list your experience and skills, but your elevator pitch allows you to summarize and get to the conversation. 

    • "My name is Chloe. I am a senior, majoring in finance, and will be graduating in May. I have a passion for working with non-profit organizations who are making an impact, similar to the several student organizations I'm involved with at Penn State. I saw that your firm has an strong presence in your community and I'm interested in working for a company that is active in making a difference." 

  • Tell them why you're interested.
    Use the research you did on the organization to show your interest and preparedness. Connect it to your experience/skills to show why you would be a great candidate.

    • "My name is Joe. I am a sophomore, majoring in public relations, and am seeking an internship for the summer of 2020. I am interested in interning with your organization because I saw on your website that you represent larger technical firms. I'm the secretary for the Aviation Club and really have a passion for communicating technical details to those without a technical background." 

  • Ask a question.
    Keep the conversation moving. Ask a question to get more information about the company, learn about opportunity, and further the discussion.

    • "My name is Blake. I am a first-year student interested in learning more about your organization and your internship program. My major is chemical engineering. I saw that you offer a rotational internship program. What does that look like during a summer internship?"

Practice in advance.

Everything takes practice and an elevator pitch is no different. Practice at home with a mirror, a roommate, or call a family member. The more you walk through it out loud, the more natural it will sound to a recruiter.


Jump start the process.

  • Apply to jobs in Nittany Lion Careers
    Companies will often post openings before the fair. Apply in advance to get the process moving. Recruiters may reach out and ask you to stop by events or schedule an interview.
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Before the Fair


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