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Avoid frustration at career fairs... understand resume collection

I’m sure this is a frustrating point for many of you, as you have surely encountered some employers who do not take resumes at career fairs. In this blog I hope to provide advice for what to do when that happens, and give you some insider info as to what employers are paying attention to during conversations at career fairs.

What can you do if an employer will not take your resume?

1) Get a business card from the recruiter(s) you talked to
2) Email a follow up message and that demonstrates interest in the company/position
3) In that email, remind the recruiter of the conversation [“I enjoyed talking with you at the Ohio State engineering career fair yesterday] and explain your relevant skills and interests [As I mentioned when we spoke, I’m very interested in the “blank” industry and would be extremely interested in an opportunity to interview for “insert kind of position you discussed” opportunities”].

Quote from a recruiter: “In that email we get to see their [students] writing skills, follow up and attention to detail. An electronic copy can be moved immediately to the hiring managers without waiting for a recruiting trip to end. Our effectiveness on campus is working through career services to partner with organizations, faculty, and sponsorships where we can meet students and interact with them.”

Following is an excerpt from a career fair evaluation form from an employer who accepts resumes but also encourages students to apply online:

1. Overall Appearance: Rating 1 2 3 4 5 Comments
2. Dressed appropriately: Rating 1 2 3 4 5 Comments
3. Neat in appearance: Rating 1 2 3 4 5 Comments
4. Prepared; had resume: Rating 1 2 3 4 5 Comments

Don’t be discouraged if they don’t take your paper resume! Make the most of every opportunity for a face-to-face conversation with an employer to demonstrate YOUR qualifications!


"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."
-Milton Berle

Authored by Jessica Hall.