How to Career Fair

Career fair season has returned!

  • CS Career Fair: Wednesday 1/18 11 AM – 4 PM lawn between Hewlett and Packard
  • Startup Career Fair: Thursday 1/19 11 AM – 4 PM lawn between Hewlett and Packard
  • Stanford Opportunity Job Fair (OJF) Engineering Job Fair: Saturday 1/28 10:30 AM – 4 PM Huang Engineering Center

With hundreds of students lining up to get free swag, these places can seem intimidating, but there are some ways you can get an interview even if you don’t have a long list of previous work experience on your resume. Which brings us to our first pro tip:

Bring lots of copies of your resume (and make sure it’s only 1 page long)

Every recruiter will ask for one, and they write notes on it. Be sure to highlight the experience/interests you do have rather than experience you lack as a freshman. If you need help with your resume, we can help! Email us (thestemsearch@gmail.com) or schedule a meeting with us in the office hours tab.

Do your homework BEFORE showing up

Look at the company list beforehand and know which ones you want to visit, which roles you’re interested in (do you like frontend or backend? CS majors will almost certainly be asked this question), and which companies are hiring freshman/sophomores (BEAM tries to provide this now). Startups will want to know if you’ve used or heard of their product and what you like/don’t like about it.

Be Prepared for a Crowd

These things get crowded, so try not to bring your backpack. It gets in the way of agile job hunting. Be prepared for long lines so plan for enough time to visit all the companies you’re interested in. Dress decently and comfortably. Tech career fairs rarely require formal attire, so just wear whatever makes you feel confident.

Prepare an Elevator Pitch

You only have a few seconds to convince the recruiter you stand out, so know what you want to say ahead of time! One strategy for a solid elevator pitch is to hand the recruiter your resume and highlight 3 things that make you a good candidate for the job. Avoid generalities regarding your skills (like being a fast learner) and instead give concrete examples (like something you’ve taught yourself or an extension you did for 106A and how you learned things outside of class to make it happen).