3 Steps to Take Before the Career Expo (and 3 Mistakes to Avoid)
Updated: Jan 31, 2019
Its time for Career Expo preparations, so that you can feel polished and well organized for the Spring event that lets you meet employers face to face on the Lehigh campus.
Step #1: Prepare
Start by attending any of the Career Center led workshops or events leading up to the Career Expo, in order to polish your resume, learn how the expo event works and practice your pitch. Get advice from Career Center Staff and employers and take the time to feel organized and ready before the event. See a complete event schedule on Handshake.
Career Lab: Monday - Friday, 11 am - 2 pm in 484 Rauch -
Career Skills Sessions: Every Wednesday, 4:10 in Rauch 085
Career Expo Express: Friday, February 8, 12:30 - 5:00 pm in Lamberton Hall
Resume Gallery: Thursday, February, 7, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Steps Concourse
Handshake also has a Career Expo Quick Guide and other resources on the Career Expo Prep tile. Review the information there 24/7 to help you prepare.
Step #2: Research the Employers Registered
Handshake's Career Fair page includes all the details about the Spring Career Expo. There you can view (and use filters to sort) employers registered to attend, identify who is hiring your academic major and target companies who are hiring for positions of interest. You can also view the map to find where employers will be located at the event.
In addition, fill in the Career Expo Cheat Sheet to organize your employer research. Download and print the cheat sheet from Handshake or make your own. Be sure to bring your cheat sheet with you to the event so you can customize your “pitch” and ask questions that demonstrate your research.
Step #3: RSVP
Fast track your check in at the Career Expo by clicking “Join Event” on Handshake. We will pre-print your name tag, allowing you easy access to the event. The deadline to RSVP is Thursday, Feb. 6 at noon! Walk ins are also welcome!
#1 Mistake to Avoid: Arriving Under-dressed
The Career Expo is a business professional event, you should arrive in a full suit, conservative in color and style. If needed, dry clean or tailor your suit pieces so they fit well. Arriving under-dressed could get you sent home for a wardrobe change (no sweatpants allowed).
You should look polished from head to toe, starting with clean hair and ending with professional style shoes (that you are comfortable walking in).
Accessories or fragrances should be minimal. Leave behind any clutter like a large purse or backpack but do bring a portfolio with resume copies and pen/paper.
#2 Mistake to Avoid: Arrive late
Doors open for students at 3:00 pm, and though the event continues until 7:00 pm it's fairly common that some employers leave early. The Spring Career Expo is also hosted in a smaller venue, which means during peak attendance times you may have to wait to enter if the location is at maximum capacity or you may wait in lines before you can greet recruiters. These are all critical reasons to arrive early and allot plenty of time to participate. If you have a class conflict, speak to the professor beforehand to request to be excused. This is a one day event that should have priority for job and internship seekers.
Use the bus schedule to arrange transportation or car pool with friends and allocate time for travel as well.
#3 Mistake to Avoid: Using the Career Expo as Your Only Job or Internship Search Strategy
While the Career Expo is an excellent way to interact with 80 employers, it shouldn’t be the only strategy you use for your job or internship search.
Handshake has an active job board with 4,000+ jobs and internships
Visit with employers who come to campus for info sessions and other events
Use additional job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Idealist to apply for opportunities nationwide in a wide range of industries
Review industry specific job boards like USAjobs.gov (government jobs) or HigherEdjobs.com (research or teaching)
Network with alumni on Lehigh Connects to request job/internship search advice
Attend local meet ups in your area like Philly New Tech meet up or Tech in Motion: Philadelphia
Explore the resources on Campus Philly to participate in events and review job openings
Learn about rotational programs and apply to positions at 80+ companies