Since registration opened for WORKFORCE, Lawrence students have been flocking to the Career Center to get a spot on the bus to the career fair. Those of you who plan to attend WORKFORCE (or any career fair) should do some preparation before boarding the bus. Here are a few tips to consider:

Do your homework.

Visit the WORKFORCE website and look at the list of employers that will be attending. Which employers interest you the most? What do you know about them? The WORKFORCE brochure has informational blurbs about each company, but it’s a good idea to dig a little deeper and check out the company website as well. If you really want to impress recruiters, read a few recent articles about the company or organization in newspapers and business magazines. Be sure to know the goals and purpose of the organization before you visit their booth. The question “So, what does your company do?” is a faux pas at job fairs.

Prepare great questions.

Have a few dynamite questions ready to ask recruiters. These questions should demonstrate your interest in the company and elicit answers that will help you better understand their workplace atmosphere. Some great examples include:

“What are the characteristics of your most successful employees?”

“What is your organization’s culture like?”

“For how many years does the typical employee stay with the company?”

“What made you choose this company and why do you stay?”

“What’s the one thing that surprised you most about this company?”

Learn (and remember!) names of recruiters.

Say the recruiter’s name several times during your conversation to reinforce your memory. You will be thankful that you’ve done this when you are writing thank-you notes after the job fair and are able to connect a name and a face to details from your conversation.

Use business cards to jog your memory.

Get a business card from each recruiter. Before you move on to a new booth, find a quiet place to jot down key points from your conversation on the back of the business card. When you follow-up with the recruiter following the job fair, you will be able to remember important aspects of your conversation and what you liked about the organization.

These are just a few strategies to consider when preparing for WORKFORCE. Read the information booklet available at for more excellent tips that will help you get the most out of your career fair experience.