Student Career Expo Guide and Tips for Success

Preparing for the Expo

  • Research the Companies – You can do so by logging into your Handshake account.
  • Update your Resume – Have you added new items since you used it last? Any new clubs or relevant coursework?
  • Professional Outfit – Make sure you have your outfit prepped and ready to go for the event. Clean clothes, pressed, and shine your shoes. Dress of the day is business professional.
  • Winter Awareness – It is going to be cold more than likely so if you need to wear snow boots with your dress outfit...do it. If you want to pack your dress shoes in your backpack and change when you arrive, there is a place to do so in the student prep room.

What to Bring with you to the Expo:

  • Resumes – Enough copies to give to all the employers you want to meet with.
  • BuckID – You will need to swipe your ID to get in to the event.
  • Padfolio or Folder – You will want something to hold your resumes and take notes on.
  • Something to write with – You will want to take notes after your conversations so you can follow up afterwards.

Once You Arrive

  • Sign In – There will be a place for you to sign in and swipe your BuckID.
  • Make a Name Tag – Write clearly and include your first and last name, major and even your rank if you want. Place your name tag on the right side of your chest, above any pocket that may be there.
  • Grab a Directory and Map – Plan out how you will work the room. Know who you want to talk to and where they are. Don’t be a career expo vulture and just circle the room.
  • Lose the Coat and Bag – Drop them off in the student prep room. You do not need to carry them around the room as you talk to companies.

Introductions and Etiquette

  • Elevator Speech – Have you practiced your greeting yet? Spend some time practicing your introductions with your roommates and friends.
  • Non-Verbal – Look them in the eye with a nice pleasant smile, chin up, standing tall and straight - extend your hand to give them a nice handshake greeting. No death grips. No cold fish - wet noodles.
  • Q&A – Be prepared to answer questions… because they will have a few for you. This is your first interview essentially, with this company. They want to see how you handle yourself in conversation. Smile. Speak clearly and look at the person while you are speaking.
  • What does your company do? – NEVER SAY THIS! It is a major turn-off to a company when you know nothing about them. Do your research and homework.

Who Should You Talk to?

  • Talk to Everyone Review what companies are attending. Visit their websites in advance of the expo to familiarize yourself with their work. Maybe craft a few questions for them as well so you can learn more about them. That will make a good impression.
  • They Don’t Want My Major – You never know what connections you might make so take the time network as much as you can. Each company could have an unadvertised position that is just right for you but you won't know until you introduce yourself and explore the possibility.
  • Get Business Cards – Take a few notes on the back of the card later on to remind you of your meeting, conversation, etc.
  • Follow-Up – Send them a personal thank you for attending the Career Expo to meet with you. These companies typically spend a lot of money to be here in fees and travel, just to meet you - so please thank them, even if you don't think it's a company you will work for because networking is critical for your success. Your network can include lots of people - and absolutely, even at agencies who may never employ you.