Career fairs are events designed to help employers and recruiters meet with SFA students and alumni as potential new hires for their respective full-time, part-time or internship opportunities. These events are also great ways for students and alumni to connect and expand their networks, learn about different career experiences and opportunities, gain insight into hiring processes and meet potential employers face-to-face.
Who can attend an SFA career fair?
Career fairs are open to all SFA undergraduate and graduate students, as well as alumni, to attend. All student classifications (freshmen through senior), all majors, and all stages of career search (actively looking for a full-time job or just considering employment) are encouraged to attend. Many of our employers consider themselves “freshmen friendly” meaning they are happy to talk with students who are not actively seeking a job yet but want to learn more about what their company does.
Each semester we host an All Majors Career and Internship Fair that features employers and recruiters from a variety of organizations, companies, and industries. This is a great event for any student or alumni of any major or career interest to attend. We will also host more targeted career fairs each semester that focus on specific majors or career fields, like our Accounting Career Fair and Teacher Career Fair. These events are great for any and all students and alumni with these specific majors or interests to attend. You can learn more about our scheduled career fairs here.
What to expect at an SFA career fair
Students and alumni
- Career fairs are free for students and alumni to attend.
- Start at the student check-in table, which will be located near the main entrance of the career fair and marked with signage. Alumni will check-in here, as well.
- You will check-in using your student ID, be given a nametag, and will add stickers to your nametag to denote your classification (first-year, upper-level, etc.). You will also be given a map of the career fair that shows where each employer is located. Alumni who do not remember their student ID can be checked-in using alternate steps.
- Take your backpacks, bags, coats, etc. to our secure coat and bag check room so you don’t have to carry items with you at the fair.
- Visit the coat and bag check room for last-minute items like a tie, blazer, mouthwash, a final mirror check and more.
Fair details and tips
- Career fairs are come-and-go events, however we recommend getting there at the start of the fair to allow yourself enough time to visit with employers. It is best to get there with at least one hour left of the fair in order to talk with all employers.
- The rooms will be set up with rows of tables, with employers and recruiters at each table.
- It is recommended that you start by visiting the company tables you are most interested in meeting, using the handout or the list of employers attending the career fair from Handshake. Otherwise, pick a starting path and walk down each aisle.
- Walk up to a table of interest, introduce yourself to the recruiter and shake hands (if you are comfortable with that) with a smile on your face. Tell them about yourself (elevator pitch) and ask them questions about their company. Thank them for their time when you leave.
- Before you leave the fair, fill out the Student Career Fair survey using the QR codes around the room. Don’t forget to get your items in the coat and bag check room.
1. Update your resume and print copies
- Visit the CCPD and we will help you! We recommend visiting with us weeks before the fair to allow time for making any necessary edits and updates and to ensure appointment availability.
- You can make an appointment to meet in person, stop by open office hours, or submit it online through the Handshake resource – "Request a Professional Document Critique."
- You can learn more about resumes here.
2. Practice your elevator pitch
- An elevator pitch is a way to introduce yourself that includes facts about you, your passions, and interest in pursuing a particular job or field of employment.
- You can find some tips for creating your introductory greeting here.
3. Practice answering interview questions
- There is a chance you will have an on-the-spot interview at a career fair or be asked to attend an interview the following day.
- Practice answering common interview questions you can find here.
- Utilize our free online resource InterviewStream, where you can practice by recording yourself answering questions. You can access this resource here.
- It is not about writing a script, but more so about having strong examples ready. The more practice you have, the more comfortable you will feel.
4. Pick out your professional outfit
5. Research the employers attending the career fair
- Know what companies will be attending by checking the registration list on Handshake. Then, read up on the company or organization by checking their Handshake profile or their linked websites. Consult third-party sites that allow former employees to review the company as well. View their posted positions on Handshake and elsewhere.
- Be sure to also draft specific questions to ask their representative at the fair.
List of items to bring
- Printed copies of your updated resume. Through your research on the attending employers, you will know the minimum number you should bring. However, we recommend bringing more than you think you’ll need, as you never know who you will be in conversation with at these events.
- A pen and folder or padfolio to keep your resumes and blank paper in for notes.
- Questions you wish to ask all or specific employers.
- Suggested questions include: Tell me about your company. What do you like most about working there? Describe to me your company/office culture. Do you have any current opportunities in ____ (field)? What advice would you give someone who is interested in working in your field or with this company? Do you have any internship opportunities available? If so, when are those application deadlines?
- These can be written down on a notepad if needed.
- An open attitude – talk to all the employers if you can; you never know what positions will be a great fit for you.
We require business professional or business casual dress for entrance into the fairs. If you are not considered professionally dressed, then you will be asked to visit CCPD’s Career Closet before being admitted.
We recommend that you start collecting professional clothing now, a little at a time. Start with a good pair of professional shoes, slacks, blazer and button-down shirt.
To learn more about what is business professional and business casual dress, visit our professional dress resource page. You can also learn more about ways we temporarily provide professional clothing to students and alumni for free through our CCPD Career Closet.
How much are career fairs?
- Career fairs are free for SFA students and alumni to attend.
- There is a fee for employers and recruiters to attend.
- Campus departments can attend relevant fairs at no charge.
As a student, do I need to sign up for the career fair to attend?
- No, you do not need to register or sign up in advance to attend as a student. We encourage you to register in advance on the fair’s page in Handshake, as this helps the CCPD plan accordingly, but it is not required that you do.
- You will need to check-in to the fair when you arrive at the student check-in table.
How do I know what companies will be attending the career fair?
- You can see all the companies and organizations who have registered to attend the fair in Handshake:
- Log in to Handshake using your mySFA credentials at sfasu.joinhandshake.com.
- Select the “Career Center” on the top right corner of the home page.
- On the Career Center page, locate the section for upcoming Career Fairs.
- Select the fair you are interested in attending.
- On the selected fair’s page, you can choose either the “All Employers” tab at the top or the blue “See More Employers” button under the Employer Attendees section.
What if I don't have any professional clothing?
- You can visit the CCPD’s Career Closet to borrow professional clothing for free.
What does it mean if a company is “freshmen friendly"?
- The company has noted this to encourage all classifications of students to meet them at a career fair. They are happy to talk with students who are not actively seeking a job yet, but wish to learn more about what their company does, general application and interview processes, and advice for gaining experience in their field and setting themselves apart for future opportunities.
As a faculty or staff member at SFA, how can I encourage my students to attend the career fairs?
- Encouraging and sharing the value of attending career fairs with your students is always helpful. Add it to your class syllabus or class announcements.
- Consider offering extra course credit if a student attends a career fair. The CCPD can help collect sign-in sheets for your class at the fairs. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.