What to do after attending a career fair?

Now that the CPCC Career Fair is over, what’s next?

A job fair may be a one day event, but there’s still some follow up action items to complete in your job search.

Send thank you notes to recruiters you spoke with. Take the time to send a quick thank you note to any recruiters that you talked to, thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in working for their company. Many applicants overlook this simple step that makes or breaks a person being considered for a job.

Contact employers you didn’t meet with. Whether you weren’t able to attend the career fair or couldn’t speak with all of the companies on your target list, reach out to them now. Check out the company websites for information about job opportunities.

Do what employers asked you to do. If an employer requested that you send additional application information, asked you to contact him or her this week or gave instructions to apply via the company website, do it!

Follow up with recruiters within two weeks after the job fair. Touch base to learn the status of your application or jobs you were interested in and to reiterate your interest in working for the company.

Develop a system for keeping track of recruiters, companies, applications and job leads. Mark dates you meet with someone, apply for a job or have an interview. Set calendar reminders to follow up. Many job searching devices exist to help simplify this task.

Review your strategies. Ask yourself what worked and what didn’t? If you felt nervous delivering your elevator speech to employers, consider rewriting or practicing it. If after a few weeks you do not receive requests for job interviews, it might be wise to have your resume critiqued. Applicants who receive interview requests but no job offers may want to review their interviewing skills.

Use other job search resources. A successful job search strategy incorporates all resources – job fairs, online job boards, networking, social media etc. – rather than focusing on just one. It’s critical to use all options available to you.



Get a Career Fair recruiter’s attention by giving a great elevator speech!

When you walk up to recruiters at next week’s Career Fair, what are you going to say? After you shake hands and tell them your name, what are you going to talk about?


You have less than a minute to tell an employer your skills and background and what makes you a qualified candidate for job openings at their company. You accomplish this task by writing and practicing a killer elevator speech.

To give a great speech you need good content and sharp delivery. Make the recruiter want to ask more questions about your background and accept your resume for future consideration.


Discuss your professional background as it relates to the company. How does your education or experience make you qualified for this job? What skills do you have that will help you contribute to the company’s success? Not only does this show you know yourself, it shows you’ve done your company research.

Convey any related experience you have. Remember, relevant experience isn’t always paid. Did any classroom projects help develop a solid knowledge base? What about internships, volunteer experience or campus or community leadership roles you’ve had?

Include a “hook,” or a way to get the employer to take action. Ask for a business card, ask relevant questions about the job or inquire about the hiring process.


Start with a confident handshake. Remember to smile and maintain comfortable eye contact. Being nervous is understandable, so take a deep breath beforehand to avoid talking too fast.

Finally, the best speakers rehearse a practiced speech beforehand. You should do the same. Take time now to write and practice your elevator speech. Rehearse it in front of the mirror and family and friends. Time it to make sure it doesn’t exceed one minute. Get feedback from your audience and practice your speech many times.

Your goal at the job fair is to capture the recruiter’s interest enough to be considered for a follow-up interview. A strong elevator speech helps you achieve this goal.


Why attend the CPCC Career Fair & what to expect

The CPCC Career Fair is just over one month away! On Thursday March 6 employers will be at the Grady Cole Center to discuss full-time and part-time jobs as well as internship opportunities. Mark your calendar and plan to attend.

Why should I go to a career fair?

If you’re job searching, why wouldn’t you attend the job fair? This is your chance to meet employers face-to-face who are actively hiring people just like you. Online job searching has been a staple for years thanks to job boards like employmeNC and Indeed.com that let job seekers apply to jobs from the comforts of home. Social media has taken the online job search one step further allowing online interaction with professionals and company representatives through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

But the chance to talk to an employer in person can’t be trumped or replaced. At the end of the day an in-person interview is how employers evaluate your candidacy for a job opening. Don’t pass up the opportunity to make a good first impression – and solidify yourself as one to be contacted for that interview. The job seeker attending the job fair has the advantage, so why shouldn’t that job seeker be you?

What can I expect at a job fair?

Be prepared for lots of people in a loud environment. Approximately 75-85 companies attend the event. They each bring two or more recruiters who spend time talking one-on-one to job seekers that number over 1,000. Each company sets up a display table. Their job is to promote their company as place you might like to work. Your job is to promote yourself as someone they might want to hire.

Anticipate long lines. CPCC students, alumni and all veterans can access the event through the VIP entrance. You may also encounter long lines at employer tables. Be patient. Remember you might meet your next employer today so it’s worth the wait.

Allow enough time. The CPCC Career Fair is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Depending on how many employers you plan to talk to, you could be at the event for an hour or longer. You’ll want to spend at least 5-10 minutes talking to each employer.

Start preparing now. A job fair isn’t an event you prepare for the night before. You’re going to need professional attire, a sharp resume, knowledge about the companies attending, a list of questions to ask them and a top-notch elevator speech that sells your skills and qualifications to each employer. Take the next month to get these items in order.

Visit Career Services to help you get ready for the job fair. Visit this blog over the next month for tangible tips on how to be successful at the event. Clear your class or work schedule now for March 6 to avoid conflicts and the chance to attend this event.