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Nursing Career Fair—Tips for Students

Information from the Office of Career Development.

Prepare for the Fair

Preparation is paramount for career fairs. Some employers will be very approachable and will initiate contact with you. Some will be more reserved and will expect you to break the ice. Either way, recruiters are at the fair to meet students and will be more than happy to talk to you. Be yourself, but also professional. Remember: You are making your first impression with recruiters who could decide whether or not you will represent their organization well. 

The Elevator Speech

An elevator speech is a clear, brief description of you. Think of it as your 30-second commercial. It gives the employer a quick glimpse into who you are, what you're looking for and why you would be a good fit.

It should include the following:

  1. Name, year in school, major, minor (if applicable),
  2. Your career interest and goals and why you are passionate about your career field,
  3. Knowledge of the company and why you're interested in it,
  4. And questions about positions available. 

Do Not

  • Stand out for the wrong reasons, e.g., wearing inappropriate clothing.
  • Ask an employer, "So, what does your company do?" It is your responsibility to learn this in advance.
  • Be afraid to talk about your accomplishments.
  • Say "I really need an internship before I graduate because I really need work experience." Or, "I really want to work on building my skills." Talk about what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you. 
  • Just fill your pockets with giveaways.

Remember to focus on how you will be an asset to their organization, not how they can help you. Write your speech down and practice in front of a mirror. You do not need to memorize your speech, just know the main point. Practice, practice, practice! Also, elevator speeches can be your answer to the common interview question, "Tell me about yourself."