University Career Center

Student talking to a recruiter at the job fair.

Do you find yourself wondering around Expo completely overwhelmed, not really sure how to approach recruiters? You’re not alone! Talking to recruiters can be both nerve racking and awkward if you’re not prepared. Here’s a quick guide on how to start, proceed, and wrap up conversations with employers at the fair.

Start by introducing your self with a firm handshake. Give your name, year in school, and academic major. Say welcome to Michigan!  I’m so glad I have the opportunity to talk with you about my career interests and how they might fit in with what your organization has to offer. A quick introduction is a great way to break the ice so you can get to the good stuff.

Proceed with confidence and get into the nitty gritty. Make it known why you are standing in front of the recruiter. What do you know about the organization and why you are interested in working there? Once you’ve demonstrated to the recruiter that you’ve done your homework (been on their website, LinkedIn etc.), talk about your academic, work, or extra-curricular activities in more detail, and why they’re relevant. Highlight not only what you’ve been involved in, but also the transferable skills you’ve developed. Know your resume extremely well, but also be prepared to go beyond what’s on paper. Make it clear what you’re interested in and why, but don’t forget to bring your personality! My three biggest pieces of advice are (1) don’t expect the recruiter to initially carry the conversation, (2) tell the recruiter what YOU’RE interested in, not what you think they want to hear and (3) be yourself! If you do those three things, you have successfully talked to a recruiter and the magic will start to happen.

Wrap up the conversation by thanking them for their time. Ask your final questions and what the best way for you to stay in touch and move forward with the application process is. Don’t freak out if the recruiter refers you to the company website. In most cases, whether or not you are on the fast track to securing an interview, HR requires all applicants to apply online. Be confident and be yourself! That’s all you can do!