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This guide features samples and guides for resumes, cover letters, interviews, and more. Questions? Schedule a meeting with PGP through Handshake.

Tips for Career Fair Success

Inspired by the following pages from Tufts and MIT Career Offices:,,

Before the Fair

  • Register for the fair on Handshake. Your first step is to register for the fair on Handshake and put the date in your calendar. You can see Upcoming Career Fairs in Handshake in the ‘Career Center’ section.
  • Update your resume and upload it to Handshake. Access PGP’s online resume resources here on Libguides under 'Applying to Jobs and Internships' -> 'Resumes' or schedule a meeting with us on Handshake for a resume review. In Handshake, click on your account icon in the upper right corner then go to 'My Documents' -> 'Add New Document'. If you're still confused, visit the Handshake Help Center's Article on How to Upload a New Document or send us an email at
  • Update your Handshake and LinkedIn profile(s). Double check that your profile(s) have the most up to date information about you. At Olin, we direct career fair representatives towards your Handshake profile; make sure it is the best representation of you that it can be!
  • Research companies that you are interested in speaking with. Know what the company does, their career opportunities, maybe even some recent company news. Prepare a question or two for each company to get the conversation rolling. View the full list of attending employers by navigating to the event on Handshake and selecting the ‘All Employers’ tab.
  • Prioritize your top companies. Especially if there are a lot of companies scheduled to attend, or if you have limited time in your schedule to visit the fair, make a list of companies to seek out first. It’s common to have to wait at the booth to speak to the employer if they are busy talking with other students; factor that time into your plan.
  • Practice your elevator pitch. You won’t have a ton of time to talk with each employer, so you want to make sure you stand out in that short period. A good elevator pitch is about 30 seconds to a minute and touches on a few key pieces of information about you – who you are, why you’re here, what you can offer, and your professional goals.
  • Plan a professional outfit. Dress professionally to make a good impression. Business casual is usually appropriate unless you’ve been instructed otherwise. Make sure the outfit you plan to wear is clean and wrinkle free. If you don’t have an appropriate outfit on hand, consider visiting the Expressions Rack in CC331 to borrow something new.
  • Print your resume. Nothing worse than running around trying to find a working printer five minutes before the fair. Avoid the hassle by printing your resume the day before. Be sure to print out enough copies for the number of recruiters you plan on talking to.

During the Fair

  • Collect business cards and contact information. The free swag is great, but make sure to get business cards and/or contact information from the representatives you talk to as well! Most will have business cards, but just in case, make sure to bring a small notebook to take down information.
  • Bring your resume. Bring a few copies to give to recruiters, as well as a copy for yourself. Your resume is, among other things, a great list of stories that you might choose from to tell a recruiter about yourself.
  • Keep your phone away (unless you’re scanning a QR code). If you want to take notes or write down contact information, bring a small notebook instead.

After the Fair

  • Follow up with a thank you email. Use this email to thank the representatives for their time, ask about open positions or next steps, and more. Keep the momentum going!
  • Apply for opportunities. If you’ve applied for an opening, let the representative(s) know! They might be able to offer additional resources or boost your application’s visibility behind the scenes. Plus, it keeps the conversation going and means that they are more likely to reach out to you with future opportunities.

Crafting your Elevator Pitch

Your elevator pitch should (briefly!) answer these three questions: “Tell me about yourself", “What have you done recently?”, and “What are you interested in doing next?" Start by thinking about some of your top work/school experiences and choose one to two experiences that you want to mention. Shorten each story to a sentence or two. Don't worry about telling the entire story in two sentences! Give brief context and then mention one specific detail. Sandwich these sentences between a sentence with your name and area of study at the beginning and a sentence with what you are looking for at the end. Lastly, remember to keep it conversational! You don't have to present your entire pitch in one block. Start with your name, give the recruiter a few seconds to introduce themselves, and maybe shake hands (COVID permitting), then you can continue with the rest of your pitch. Don't rush or ramble; it's better to have a concise, clear, and conversational pitch than to cram as much information in as possible.

Example Pitches

“Hi, my name is Maya and I'm a junior studying engineering with computing here at Olin. My interest lies at the intersection of cybersecurity and web development.

Last semester, I worked with professor Jerry Smith to develop a Python program that analyzed the psychological effects of social media, specifically looking at Instagram users. I particularly enjoyed this project because it expanded my knowledge of the Python language but, as an entirely new project, also challenged me to design and build a well documented code base so that future students could learn from and continue my work.

I'd love to hear more about *company*, especially any summer internship opportunities that might be a good fit for me."


Hi, I'm Riley.

*pause to get recruiter name and shake hands*

It's wonderful to meet you! I'm a senior mechanical engineering student and I'm interested in hearing more about *specific company program name* at *company*. I read online that *specific program name* is a very collaborative program which would be a great fit for my hands-on and project-based education from Olin College. Could you tell me more about the program?


I'm Jenna, it's nice to meet you. I recently graduated from Olin College with a degree in engineering and a concentration in user experience design. At Olin I worked with our external communications office to improve the experience flow of the college website. This past summer I worked at the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Volpe Center, on an app that helps people purchase cars based on their safety ratings. I had a great time at Volpe, but I decided I want to settle down closer to home. Could you tell me about *company* and any full-time positions that may be available in Seattle?