How to Prepare

Before the conference

  1. Plan your outfit. The dress code is professional. Think of this as an interview. For men - a suit or sports coat and a tie. For women - a suit with pants or a skirt. If you want to dress with more flair, do it with accessories.
  2. Limit your baggage. Shaking hands gets every conversation off to a good start, so keep your hands and shoulders free from bulky or heavy bags. A portfolio to carry resumes and record notes is a good idea.
  3. Practice your brag story. When an exhibitor asks you about your career goals and how your experiences are preparing you to be successful, you should be ready with a one-minute concise answer.
  4. Bring several copies of your resume. If you are ready for a professional position, show it by having your resume prepared. It should be perfect. Have a friend proofread it.
  5. Research companies in advance. Review the list of exhibitors to find company descriptions, lists of positions available and company websites. Make note of the top exhibitors you want to visit.
  6. Develop 3 questions to ask exhibitors. Have an opening question ready when you meet exhibitors. This is part of your first impression, so be prepared and make it a good one.
  7. Follow the conference on social media. Receive updates and reminders prior to the conference on Twitter or Facebook.

During the conference

  1. Check in at the registration desk. Receive your conference materials and plan which breakout sessions you’d like to attend.
  2. Introduce yourself. Make eye contact, extend your hand, say hello and introduce yourself. You will look confident and show that you have something to offer the company that is exhibiting. Follow up with your opening question.
  3. Collect business cards. You can't send a personalized thank you if you don’t have a business card. "To whom it may concern" doesn’t cut it.
  4. Take notes. You will meet many people, so make notes on the back of the business cards to help you remember key information.
  5. Say cheese! Check out the conference-sponsored LinkedIn photo booth and get your photo taken. You’re already dressed up, so why not get a free professional photo to use as your profile pic?
  6. Oh snap! Don't forget to take a break and snap using the conference Snapchat filter.

After the conference

  1. Send thank you notes. This does not just apply to the formal interview. If you really liked a company at the conference, send them a thank you for being there. They made an investment of time and money to attend, too.
  2. Download your photo. If you visited the LinkedIn photo booth, download your photo and update your social media profiles so you look sharp and professional.
  3. Visit the sponsors’ websites. Besides putting on the conference, the sponsors have resources for students available on their websites. Learn more about the sponsors and what they offer students.
  4. Update your resume. Did you attend a resume and interview tips session or a one-on-one consult? Update your resume with what you learned so it’s ready to be sent to potential employers.

Sponsoring organizations