By Christina Munoz |

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, a career fair is a great opportunity to practice marketing yourself to potential employers. Showing up may be easy but if you want to stand out to recruiters there are some things you should know. Follow these steps to get the most out of your career fair experience.

Look Professional

If you want to “wow” a recruiter before you say a word, be sure to look professional. A good start is to dress for success. Business casual should be worn at the very least but check the event details if you are unsure about this. If you are unable to find information about the required attire, wear business professional to be safe.

Next, look clean-cut. Men: shave the beard and shine the shoes. Leave behind the light-up Christmas tie for a professional tie. Ladies: polish the nails and dress modestly. Chipped nail polish is not something you want to be remembered for.

Do Your Research

First impressions are important impress recruiters by researching the companies beforehand. While researching, write a few key facts about the companies that you are interested in. Talk about these key facts while talking with recruiters to show them you care. They’ll notice you took the time to know more about their company.

Bring Your Resume

The last thing you want to do is turn down a recruiter’s request for your resume because you didn’t bring any copies with you. Physically handing your resume to a recruiter will give you an edge because he/she may recognize it when quickly going through the stack later.

Create an Elevator Pitch

Your elevator pitch should explain more about you, your skills and your career goals. Practice it to make sure it’s around 30 seconds. Don’t feel pressured to say it all at once if the opportunity doesn’t present itself. You can say different parts of this speech at various times throughout your conversation with a recruiter.

Leave a Lasting Goodbye

Ask about the next steps you can take to stay in touch with the company. You probably won’t remember everyone’s names so be sure to ask recruiters for their business card.

Thank the recruiter and be sure to send a follow up “thank you” via email or mail.