Find your perfect match: preparing for careers fairs like a date

by Feb 14, 2022

How do you usually find and get ready for a date? It’s different for everyone, but these days you can probably expect that apps will be involved – you want to have a great profile that stands out, chat that flows, and end the entire thing by arranging another date in the future.

It’s Valentine’s Day so we’ve definitely got love of the mind, but that doesn’t discount the fact that preparing for a careers fair is pretty much the exact same process.

Follow the advice in the gif below from Too Hot to Handle:

… let’s find out how preparing for careers fairs is just like planning a date.

Pick the right photos

It’s true for dates as much as it is for careers fairs: first impressions count.

If you spend as much time thinking about your look for an upcoming fair as you do when meeting someone new, you’ll be in good stead.

First up, before the fair begins choose an outfit that puts your best foot forward. You’ll want to be dressed semi-professional and look put together before logging in to the fair. Sit somewhere with good lighting and no distractions, and make sure your camera is on!

For an added level of sophistication, set a professional image as your Zoom background. You could use a UTS branded template to make sure you’re memorable and stand out to employers at the fair.


Know your stuff

Maybe I’m showing too much of my pickiness here, but there are very few restaurants I go to for the first time without looking up the menu before. In the same vein, I always do a quick google of a date’s name before meeting. At the very least, it helps me feel more prepared with talking notes about their trip to Spain in 2019, at the very most it ensures my date is not an axe murderer.

Researching prospective employers before a careers fair works in the exact same way. If you start looking into the organisations that will be attending the fair, it means you’ll already know who you want to connect with, have a little bit of background info on them, as well as any open positions they might have.

Remember that as much as careers fairs are for you to show employers how great you are, it’s also a chance for you to figure out if certain organisations are for you. In the same way that I google dates to make sure they’re not going to follow me down a dark alley, your research into companies can help you get a sense of their culture and whether or not it’s somewhere you’d like to work.


Get the chat flowing

Before attending a careers fair, it helps to have some questions up your sleeve. This shows that you’ve come prepared, and will also assist you if and when you want to apply for a position.

Some of our top questions to help differentiate yourself at a career fair are:

  • What skills do you look for most in a candidate for [open role] position?
  • Are there any student organisations or extra-curricular activities that would be beneficial in preparing for a position at your company?
  • My major is [major name]. What positions at your company would be a good option for someone with my educational background?
  • What does the hiring process for [open role] look like?
  • Can you tell me a little bit about the different stages in the hiring process for [open role]?
  • May I contact you with further questions?


Ask for a date

You’ve prepared with research, met a bunch of potential employers and asked them all your burning questions… now what?

After the fair has completed, it’s a good idea to consider connecting with the industry representatives you spoke with via LinkedIn thanking them for their time. Don’t forget to reference meeting with them at the fair and one or two things you found helpful in your conversation.

Then if there are any open roles you’re interested in, apply for them! This is your opportunity to cash in on all the hard work you’ve done to prepare, so go for it!


Careers fairs can be just as exciting and nerve-wracking as a date, so don’t forget to cut yourself some slack. Visit this page for more tips and tricks on how to prepare for a careers fair. And always remember:


Featured image adapted from Unsplash

Featured gifs courtesy of Giphy

Lily Cameron

Lily Cameron

Communications Assistant

Lily Cameron is a writer and editor based in Sydney. She is a UTS Communications (Creative Writing) graduate, and current Communications Assistant at UTS Careers. She is passionate about telling stories, both hers and others’, and the way digital and social media is changing the literary landscape. Her writing has appeared in Voiceworks, The Brag, and elsewhere.