Survival Guide to Job Fairs

Do’s and Don’ts of Interviews

  • Clean, neat, and professionally styled hair
  • No facial or body piercings
  • Visible tattoos need to be covered


  • Wear navy, black, or gray suit with matching pants
  • Wear white or light blue dress shirt that contrasts with the jacket
  • Wear a silk tie that coordinates with the jacket
  • Wear socks that are calf length or above the calf
  • Wear conservative, clean, and polished shoes that are lace-up and are dark or blends with the pants
  • Wear a leather belt that matches the pants
  • Should have a short hair cut with no facial hair
  • Minimize jewelry; no necklaces
  • Cologne should never be strong
  • Simple portfolio is better than a briefcase
  • Learn how to tie men’s four in hand and half Windsor knots for ties


  • Wear a skirted suit, pantsuit, or a conservatively tailored dress
  • Skirts are knee-high
  • Select blouses or sweaters that provide visual interest
  • Always wear plain, non-pattern hosiery
  • Perfume should never be strong
  • Use natural looking make-up
  • Wear flat shoes that are clean and polished
  • To accentuate your personality keep the jewelry at a minimum; no dangling earrings, one ring per hand, one necklace

Job fairs are one of the most important events to go to during your colege career.

Marky Stein, writer for “The Interview Expert,” said the U.S. Department of Labor states that 16 to 18 percent of all job seekers find jobs at job fairs.

Stein says some important things in his article “Dressing for Job Fairs.” You need to dress nice because, Stein wrote after surveying more than 40 job fair recruiters, “recruiters at these events said that, simply on the basis of seeing the job seeker—and before the seeker ever reached their booth, talked to them or handed out their resume—that the prospect dressed in extremely casual clothing struck them as being unprepared, irresponsible, less capable, educated and qualified and possessing poor work habits.

On the other hand, they described more professionally dressed individuals as capable, well-educated, intelligent, trustworthy, responsible, and people they wanted to hire.”

These rules don’t just apply for Job Fairs, but also for interviews as well. Job Fairs are like multiple interviews in one room all in one day.

Angie Roman, Coordinator of Career Services at Ferris, said, “The number one problem with students when they go to job fairs is networking. Networking is the number one tool students should use in order to find jobs. Student prepare for the Job Fair, but only for employers related to their field. What they should do is prepare for all employers, whether related to their field or not, to increase their network contacts for future career opportunities.”

The First Lady’s Attic helps students in need of appropriate attire for interviews, presentations, and job fairs. It provides fashion advice and shirt and coat measurements too.

Lisa Kemmis, facilitator and fashion advisor for the First Lady’s Attic, said “Students can get clothes, shoes, coats, and accessories only twice per year, but can keep the clothes; everything is free. We’ve already had about 100 students come in this year and it’s only about two months into school.”

Ferris’ fall job fair is Thurs., Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Wink Arena.

For more information contact Roman at or x2685.

Top Six Recommendations by Ferris Job Fair Employers

  • Wear appropriate attire
  • Visit web site of company they are interested in to get better knowledge
  • Think outside the box, explore opportunities by visiting and introducing themselves to every employer
  • Experience with your field – on campus, volunteer, internship, etc.
  • Have better prepared questions
  • If they uniformly had something to hand us to prequalify

Personal Characteristics Employers Seek

  1. Ethics and Integrity
  2. Communication skills (both Verbal and Written)
  3. Teamwork skills
  4. Interpersonal skills
  5. Motivation or Initiative
  6. Strong work ethic
  7. Analytical skills
  8. Flexibility or Adaptability
  9. Computer skills
  10. Self-confidence