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Preparing for the Career Fair

Resume Tips

There is no one way to write a resume.
Some general rules are:

  1. Your name should be prominent. Try 16 pt. font.
  2. Be consistent - consistency in your resume makes it easier to read.
  3. Include quantitative data in your resume to show impact or scale.
  4. Make sure there is enough white space on your resume so that it is easy to read. Recruiters like space to take notes.
  5. Concentrate on the knowledge, skills, and abilities that you have and make sure you represent them in your resume.
  6. Do not use pronouns such as "I" in your resume. In resumes the "I" is understood. Start with the action verb.

ACES Career Services offers resume reviews during drop-in hours.

Research Tips

Make a list of companies you want to talk to at the Career Fair. Research these companies to learn their product line, their locations, and what positions the company is seeking to fill. Deterimine how you can add value to their organization. Practice delivering your introduction to an employer including some of your research.

Ways to do company research:

  1. Use LEXIS NEXIS in the UIUC Library --> Databases.
  2. Find alumni working for the company and ask them about what they like about the organization.
  3. Review the organization's website and Handshake @ Illinois for more information.

Visit the ACES Career Services office during drop-in hours to learn more about how to conduct employer research.

What to Wear

The Career Fair is all about making good first impressions, so how you appear to recruiters is very important.

  • If you choose to wear earrings make sure they are not too distracting. Small hoops or stud earrings may be best. Large hoops and dangling earrings tend to draw attention away from you and toward the earrings.
  • Heels tend make you stand up straighter, however, the career fair covers a lot of square footage. Make sure you can get to all of the employers without getting sore feet/blisters. Heels that are one - two inches are best.
  • If you are wearing a skirt, it should not be too short. A general rule of thumb. If you would look good going to the bars, you are not appropriately dressed for the career fair.
  • Recommended suit colors are gray, black, and navy blue. Dress slacks and a sports coat are also acceptable.
  • White or light colored shirts appear more business professional. Make sure your shirt is ironed. Wrinkles do not impress recuiters.
  • If you are wearing a tie, practice tying it before the fair. There are online video sources with demonstrations of how to tie them if you are not familiar.
  • Remember to bring a padfolio to carry your resumes, business cards, and note paper.
  • Think about where you can store your bags/coats. Some fairs offer bag checks and others do not.
  • Select your career fair attire at least a week before the event. Make sure your hem is the appropriate length for the shoe you plan on wearing.
  • Shoes should be free of scuffs and dust.
  • Tatoos, like jewelry, can be distracting. Consider ways to remove the focus from the tattoo back to you such as covering a tattoo.
  • Hair should be away from the face. It is important for recruiters to be able to see your eyes.

Workshops + Information Sessions

Visit Handshake @ Illinois to find information about Career Fair Prep Workshops and Employer Information Sessions.