A career fair is a great chance to meet prospective employers and to learn more about career options in your field. Students who attend a career fair as early as their freshmen or sophomore year - report increased confidence in their ability to interact with employers and communicate their accomplishments. Juniors and seniors land interviews for valuable internships and full-time jobs through contacts made at career fairs.
More than 500 employers have attended career fairs at The University of Kentucky! National employers such as Apple, Coca-Cola, Cummins, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Fifth Third Bank, General Electric, Wal-Mart, Target, Monsanto, PriceWaterhouseCooper to name a few regularly attend the career fairs. Career fairs are outstanding opportunities for you to meet and talk with employer representatives right here on campus!
- Explore career opportunities associated with your major.
- Learn about current internships, co-ops, and jobs.
- Receive career advice from recruiters.
- Obtain an interview with an employer.
- Expand your network of professional contacts for the future.
• Enter student registration as early as 11:00am
• Network with employers starting at 11:30am—30 minutes before the Employer Showcase officially opens.
• Receive a special VIP nametag.
• Prepare for your professional career.
Don't miss the UK Fall 2013 Employer Showcase on September 24th-25th in the Student Center Grand Ballroom.
Click here to see the list of organizations registered who attended the Spring 2013 Employer Showcase.
Employer Showcase VIP Program
An interactive program designed to develop career-ready students at the University of Kentucky and offer exclusive exposure to employers. Click here for the program application and requirements.
Participants will have the opportunity to:
Why Should You Attend a Career Fair?
- To find out about specific employers.
- To learn about specific employment opportunities.
- To learn about careers in general and to research companies.
- To meet employers and make contacts that can lead to employment.
- To practice networking and communication skills.
Those reasons do not include hanging out with your friends so make a positive impression by visiting the company tables solo. Those reasons do not include getting free goodies so make sure you speak to the employer representatives before taking the promotional materials! Many employers give away great items such as mints, backpacks, stress relievers, in addition to company literature.When you attend a career fair, it is also important to understand why employers come to a career fair. Below are three of the most common reasons stated by our employers:
- To advertise and gain exposure for their company.
- To seek out new employees and interns.
- To meet students in person and make contacts.
How to Prepare for a Career Fair
Take the time to find out which companies will be attending the career fair. Visit Wildcat CareerLink to find the companies attending upcoming career fairs. Simply click on the Events tab and then choose Career Fairs to see if any are active now. Please consider that you may not have time to visit every corporate table, therefore the best strategy is to choose the companies of most interest to you and research those companies thoroughly ahead of time. Many employers provide a web address, which is also a good place to search for information.
Ready your Resume
Have multiple copies of your best resume, on high quality white or ivory resume paper, prepared to hand to the representatives at the career fair. Make sure that your resume is free of errors and has been critiqued by a counselor in the James W. Stuckert Career Center. Use an objective on your resume to help you communicate your goals and interests to employers. Include your computer skills, internships, and relevant work experiences. Have a separate list of references with your name and address clearly printed at the top. Some employers may request a cover letter even though you've delivered your resume in person. Carry your resume in a leather portfolio or folder with a nice pen and a pad of paper.
A strong, comfortable introduction of you gives a positive first impression. The best way to prepare is to create your very own "60 Second Commercial." This is simply a statement that is 30 seconds to one minute long that allows you to do the following:
- Introduce yourself.
- Demonstrate some knowledge of the organization or company.
- Express interest in the company or organization in the form of an inquiry about the job possibilities, internships, etc.
- Offer a brief statement of what you think you could offer the organization or company.
Rehearse your commercial, or introduction, in front of a mirror or with a friend. This will enable you to become so comfortable with your introduction that you are able to deliver it in a natural, unrehearsed way. A good presentation will increase your confidence, allowing you to appear relaxed and self-assured, even if you are a bit nervous.
Dress to make a positive first impression! Colors: navy or black are best. For women: a skirt suit, a skirt and blazer, or a conservative suit. For men: a suit; a button down shirt, tie, sport coat, and nice slacks; shined shoes. Refine your manners. Greet everyone with a smile and a firm handshake. Be confident, enthusiastic, and polite. Maintain good posture. Don't only take goodies from the company's table. Use the person's name and say thank you. Know when to move on if there is a line of students waiting. Collect business cards and ask who is serving as the contact person. Make notes about your conversation with each representative and use this information in follow-up letters and phone calls. Send thank you letters within 24 to 48 hours.
Request information from the corporate representatives by asking intelligent questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company, your interest, as well as your awareness of your needs in a career opportunity. Some good questions:
- What type of training program do you offer new employees?
- Describe the work environment of your company.
- How are employees evaluated and promoted?
- How has working at this company influenced your personal and professional growth?
- What are the major projects being undertaken now?
Keep in mind that you cannot tell what a company or organization has to offer simply by looking at their name or product. Most companies/organizations have needs to be met in accounting, human resources, management, engineering, etc. It is up to you to be assertive in striving to match your skills and interests to companies and their needs. The most successful candidate will find a match regardless of what positions a company currently has "advertised". Clarify your goals before the career fair so that you leave with meaningful contacts and information.