The USF St. Petersburg Job and Career Fairs provide various opportunities for employers to recruit current students and alumni for part-time, full-time and internship positions.
Stop by the Career Center for assistance with resume writing and other ways to ‘Prepare for the Fair’.
See Career Fairs and Events for upcoming opportunities
WHY ATTEND THE CAREER FAIR
Regardless of your year in school or your chosen major, there are many benefits to attending a career fair. By participating, you can:
- Learn about the variety of positions available to college graduates
- Talk to someone currently working in your field of interest
- Obtain interview experience
- Learn about internship and/or employment opportunities
- Discuss major and minor options that are of value to organizations
- Obtain referrals for job leads
- Obtain employment or an internship
How To Prepare For This Event
Employers look for various skills and abilities throughout the interview process. They also look for students that are prepared and knowledgeable of the organization and their industry. There are various ways you can prepare in advance to increase your chances of being selected for a follow up interview. They are as follows:
- Update your resume and bring plenty of copies to distribute
- Bring a portfolio to hold your resumes and something to write with
- Prepare and rehearse a 1-minute script about yourself
- Anticipate and practice answering possible questions
- Research the employers that will be present and learn about their business
Prepare your “Elevator Speech”
An elevator speech sells, promotes or markets you as an individual in 30 seconds or less. An elevator speech is as essential as a business card. You need to state who you are, what you do, what you are interested in doing and how you can be a resource to your listeners.
Step 1: Know Your Purpose
What are you using this speech for? To introduce yourself to employers and to land a job opportunity, maybe? Then target your speech to the employer. Before writing any part of your elevator speech, research your audience. The key is to know what your audience is looking for and how you could best fit in that situation.
Step 2: Know Yourself
Before you can market yourself you need to know your career goal as well as be able to answer the following questions:
- What are your credentials?
- Share your name, major, class standing, and other essential credentials.
- DO NOT share your age, gender, nationality, religion, marital status, etc.
- What are your key strengths?
- Explain some of your transferable or technical skills that fit the job and how they align with the job/mission of the company.
- What are your goals?
- How does your interest in the company/position fit your goals?
- Why are you interested in the company?
- What did you learn about them in your company research that you found intriguing?
- Share why you are passionate about working for them.
- Ask questions about the company to engage them in conversation.
Step 3: Finalize Your Speech
To help you do this, follow these simple guidelines:
- Create a bulleted list of items you want to mention. Try not to write out every word of the speech to avoid sounding like robot. Instead review your list of items to share and make it conversational.
- Practice, Practice, Practice!
- Approach the employer with confidence.
- End your elevator speech with a question to engage the employer in a conversation.
- Ask for an interview and provide your resume.
Additional Tips for Using your Elevator Speech at a Job Fair
- Be confident in yourself, it will show through to the employer.
- Approach the employers first, take the initiative to meet them, and don’t wait for them to approach you.
- Extend a firm handshake to all employers at the table.
- Collect a business card or other contact information in order to send a follow-up note after the event.
- Although it is best to research an employer ahead of time, if you do not know a company it is okay to approach them as ask about their opportunities.
What is the dress code for events?
Professional attire is required for Full-time Career Fairs.
Note: Students or alumni in casual or business casual attire will not be admitted.
Why is dress important?
During career fairs, employers meet many potential candidates and only select a small number of students to interview. It is important that you make every effort to leave a lasting and positive impression.
What is professional attire?
For men – Suits (matching dress pants and jacket) with a long-sleeved collared shirt, and a tie. All clothing should be ironed, dress socks should match the color of your suit or slacks, shoes should be clean, and the belt should match the color of your shoes.
For women – Pant/skirt suits (matching dress pants/skirt and jacket) . All clothing should be ironed and women should avoid wearing low-cut blouses, see-through or strapless shirts, skirts that are too short, and shoes that are strappy.
Business casual attire is acceptable for part-time and internship fairs.
Just because you don’t have to wear a tie doesn’t mean that anything goes. One goal of attending is to set yourself apart from other candidates. Go the extra mile and employers will notice.
What is business casual attire?
For men– Long sleeved collared shirt or polo shirt, dress slacks or khaki pants, and leather dress shoes. Your dress slacks should be in dark or neutral colors (i.e. black, grey, navy). All clothing should be ironed, dress socks should match the color of your suit or slacks, shoes should be clean, and the belt should match the color of your shoes.
For women– Short sleeved or long sleeved blouse or collared shirt or polo shirt, dress slacks or knee-length skirt (either in khaki is acceptable), closed toe pumps or flats, and a medium-size purse that can fit your portfolio. Wear minimal jewelry (post earrings, small necklace, and a thin watch) and minimal make-up. All clothing should be ironed and women should avoid wearing low-cut blouses, see-through or strapless shirts, skirts that are too short, and shoes that are strappy.
DO NOT WEAR THE FOLLOWING
- T-shirts and tank tops
- “Flashy” jewelry (i.e. big earrings, big necklace, too many bracelets)
While at the organization’s table, you should:
- Maintain professional space when approaching and introducing yourself
- Make good eye contact, give a strong handshake, and use body language that conveys interest and confidence
- Speak naturally – avoid sounding rehearsed
- Collect organizational literature and a business card
- Ask what the preferred way is to follow up