Career Services Important Career Services Links

Career Fair Preparation

A career fair is an event where students and alumni have the opportunity to network with and meet employers, recruiters, and graduate schools in a large group setting. UW-Whitewater holds several career fairs throughout the year.

Click the drop-down boxes to learn more about how to prepare for the fairs!

The career fair is a chance to deliver your personal branding message in-person. Personal branding is an opportunity to convey a sense of your skills, values, career focus, and personality to prospective employers. The ability to deliver your personal branding message is a great way to differentiate yourself from competition.

Career fairs are a great way to:

  • Learn about internships and full-time job opportunities from a variety of different employers
  • Network with employer representatives
  • Learn about the application and interview process for the jobs and internships you are interested in

Even if you are not currently looking for a job or internship, career fairs are great opportunities to learn more about the various career fields and explore your options for future job/internship searches

In order to prepare for a career fair, you should:

  • Start by reviewing the list of participating employers and the jobs they are offering on Handshake. You can find information about the career fair events and a list of participating employers under the 'Events' tab on Handshake.
  • Review the websites for each organization you are interested in. Employers may have additional job/internship opportunities listed on their websites.
  • Develop your list of 'top employers', and prioritize the organizations you want to visit.
  • Take notes about the employers you are prioritizing - including what the company does, what jobs and internships they are offering, and what qualifications the jobs require.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask employers.
  • Prepare your personal branding message or a personal introduction. This should be a short introduction telling the employer who you are, what you are studying at UWW, and which job or internship you are interested in discussing with the employer.

You should bring the following items:

  • Resumes - make sure to bring plenty of copies (you don't want to run out!) If you need help making a resume, see sample resumes here, set up an appointment with your Career Advisor, or visit a Career Services Resume Café
  • Padfolio or folder
  • Notepaper - including the questions you want to ask employers you meet with
  • Pen or pencil

You are going to be meeting employers for the first time and want to impress them, so wear attire that is appropriate and professional. Suits are always appropriate, but at the very least dress in business casual attire. Avoid jeans, leggings, and shorts. A polo shirt, blouse, or other shirt with a collar with nice pants (such as khakis or dress pants) or a skirt is appropriate. Wear closed-toed professional footwear as well.

If you do not have appropriate clothing, stop by the Career Services Warhawk Success Closet.

Practice a firm handshake, and make eye contact with the employer.

  • You will receive a map of the room layout when you check in at the door. It is okay to take a lap to get a feel for the room and/or to not talk to your 'top' employers first if you're nervous.
  • Take notes after you meet with employers - good material for thank you notes, things to reference for future conversations, and answers to the questions you asked.
  • Try to get a business card from all the employers you talk to - this will help with thank you notes and possibly connecting with employers on LinkedIn.

After the fair, you should:

  • Send a 'thank you' to employers you spoke to at the fair. Email notes are perfectly acceptable. Reference specifics from your conversations with the employer - if you talked with multiple representatives from an employer send each of them a unique thank you note (don't copy and paste the same note).
  • Connect with employers you met on LinkedIn. Make sure to include a personalized note with your connection request.