Preparing yourself for the career fair can make you feel a little bit like:

You’re not alone! Putting yourself out there professionally for the first time is extremely nerve wracking, but it’s time to tackle it. The Fall 2017 Career Fair is a two-day long event that begins next Monday, Sept. 25th in the Festival Ballroom from 11am-3pm. The career fair is the perfect opportunity for students to land a post-grad jobs and learn about internship opportunities, but it also is a great place to practice professionalism, networking and self-marketing strategies. Knowing how to prepare before you go, as well as the opportunities that await you after might ease some of your stress!

Relax, here’s what you need to do before you go:

Know which day is best for you.

There’s a reason the fair will last two days, so do some research! Most importantly, the option of both Monday and Tuesday allows you to work around your schedule. However, you also have the opportunity to look at what companies will be there each day, and you can choose which you’d like more. Check out the list of employers on the student guide before you go, and sign into your Recruit-a-Duke account for a little extra prep.  

Be ready to market yourself as a professional.

The phrase “dress for success” says it all. If you want employers to take you seriously, make sure you look the part. And, looking good helps you feel good, too! A little extra confidence while talking to a recruiter can go a long way. In the end, you want to make yourself stand out.

Have your resume ready.

Some people say that having a couple versions of your resume may help you to branch out in where you apply, but it is most important to have about 10-20 copies of your best resume to be ready to hand to recruiters! There are many different formats that your resume can follow to show off your skills. Find out which format fits you and then perfect it! If you’re nervous that your resume isn’t ready for an employer to view, stop by the CAP office tomorrow, Sept 22 at 1pm for walk-in resume reviews, and get some last minute relief.

I’m still not convinced…

If you’re still having second thoughts about attending the career fair, you should think about the opportunities it could bring to you. Let’s ask this proud Alum, Alex Dixon, why he’s happy he went out to the career fair:

“As a graduating senior, I went into the career fair with the same thoughts as a lot of my classmates: a bit overwhelmed and undecided on where I wanted to end up after graduating. I was a CIS and Marketing double major, so I knew my options were centered in the IT industry but had no idea where it’d take me.

IMG_8845I walked around for some time and still hadn’t found exactly what I was looking for, but with so many companies around me, I hadn’t given up.  I eventually walked up to the booth of a company called FAST Enterprises. After talking with the recruiter, I was really fascinated about this company that I had never even heard of.  I was offered an on-campus interview the next day and was eventually hired as a FAST Implementation Consultant. I now live in Boston and absolutely love every minute of my job and the company I work for. Looking back on that day at the career fair, I always wonder where I would be right now and how different my life might have been if FAST Enterprises and I never crossed paths.” 

Alex’s career fair experience began the post-grad life that he now loves. Taking this chance can do the same things for you. You never know what opportunities are out there!


One last thing I forgot to mention…one lucky student at the career fair will win a $1,000 scholarship for doing only a few simple tasks! First, come to the career fair and sign in at the front desk. When you’re finished networking, go back to the desk to complete a short survey. And there you have it, you’ve now entered in the running for $1,000! So, if even after all of these prepping tips and reasons to attend your first career fair still has you a little too nervous to go, that $1,000 will be there no matter what.

What’s the worst that can happen, Dukes? See you there on Monday!

Feature Image courtesy of Erin Thorn

One thought on “Conquering the Career Fair

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