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Illini Career and Internship Fair

Event Type
Professional Development
The Career Center
Illini Union
Mar 29, 2023   11:00 am - 3:00 pm  
Originating Calendar
DRES calendar

This is your chance to have meaningful engagements with your choice of over 120 employers. All skills, industries, and majors are welcome!  

Preparing for a Career Fair

  1. Review the list of organizations and research those that interest you. The list of participating companies can be found in Handshake.
  2. Update your resume and have it reviewed.
  3. Practice your elevator pitch.
  4. Gather items to take to the Career Fair - such as portfolio with notepad and pen; copies of your resume (more than the numbers of companies you plan to visit); and research notes on the companies.
  5. Prepare questions to ask employers.

Approaching Employers at a Career Fair

Most interactions will be brief, often 3-4 minutes, but if no one else is in line you could have a longer conversation.

  • Greet the Employer
    • If there is a line, pay attention to conversations of those ahead of you.
    • Establish eye contact, smile, shake hands, and introduce yourself.
    • Be confident and upbeat.
  • Be ready to have a conversation about the application process.
    • Relax and speak slowly.
    • Articulate how your interests and qualifications are well-aligned with the organization's needs.
    • Take notes about next steps and distribute your resume.
    • At the end of the conversation, request a business card and/or contact information.
    • Smile and thank the recruiter at the end of your conversation.

Following Up After the Fair

  • Take Action.
    • Apply for positions of interest through Handshake, the company website, or however you were directed at the fair.
  • Send a quick thank you email (within 24 hours) to contacts you met at the fair.
    • Refer back to something from your conversation and attach your resume.
    • Reiterate your interest in the company and the positions they have available.
  • Keep a file of all contacts made with the employer.
    • Include dates and application materials sent to them.

Next Day Interviews

  • Many organizations will schedule interviews at the career fair.
  • If you schedule an interview at the fair, be sure to keep detailed information about the date, time, and location of your interview.
  • Get contact information of your interviewer in case you need to contact him/her. Be careful to not double-book yourself.
  • Leave enough time between interviews to allow for travel to another interview location or interviews going over the intended time.

Activities to Prepare for the Illini Career & Internship Fair

Schedule a Mock Interview

  • Mock interviews will help you present yourself, your experience, and your skills in the best light.
  • Get one-on-one training on how to answer tough interview questions and how to prepare your own questions.
  • Practice your mock interview as a phone interview, in-person interview, or virtual interview
  • Schedule online 

 Attend a career fair prep workshop

  • The Career Center offers many workshops prior to the fair to help you get ready
  • Visit our website for more info 
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