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Approaching Recruiters at the
Small Business & Start-Up Fair

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

Use your pitch

Be confident in what to say.

Use the elevator pitch you develop before the fair when you talk with 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. 

  • Make natural eye contact
    Keep the focus on the recruiter and look them in the eye. It shows confidence and a professional attitude. Make sure you don't get caught staring at yourself on screen and keep the focus on them.

  • Be enthusiastic and polished
    Don't be afraid to show your enthusiasm in the position. Be yourself and smile, sit up tall, and sell the recruiter on your qualifications with great body language. Confidence shows even on screen!

  • 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 during a career fair. Keep the focus on the recruiter and your conversation.

  • Speak up
    Speak clearly and slowly. Pause slightly between statements to make sure your connection is good and there's no lag.

  • 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. Close programs on your device to avoid notifications or distractions.

  • 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?