Important Tips for Communicating at Career Fairs

Visit your favorite companies when you are most ready and when the company representatives are most fresh (early morning) or when there are least number of students (lunchtime, end of day).

Make sure they can really understand your name. Many international students say their names and can’t be understood because Americans can’t fully register a non-American name if you say it at your regular speed.

Remember, you want them to remember your name! Slow down when you say your name. Then make sure you put a clear pause (1 second) between your first name and last name.

Make sure your voice is strong and loud enough to be heard. Many women from Asia and the Middle East are culturally brought up to speak softly. In a career fair, you will be judged for your “strength and power”, so be sure to project so that you can be heard in a loud environment.

Business card exchange happens at the end of your conversation. We exchange cards using only one hand (not two, like in Asia). You can ask “may have have your card”, extend your hand to get the card (we don’t study the cards as a sign of respect) and then say, “this is my card”, while extending it with one hand and then immediately shake their hand and say “thank you for your time. I look forward to staying in touch”. If you’re not used to this, practice the card exchange before the career fair.