Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

Career Fair Tips

Career Fairs

The Goldman School hosts an annual career fair for GSPP MPP, MPA & PhD students seeking summer internships and fulltime jobs in February/March. See the Career Events page for information on the next event.

The UC Berkeley Career Center hosts several career fairs throughout the year. The following campus career fairs occasionally have opportunities of interest to GSPP graduate students: Masters & PhD Career Fair (Sept), Diversity Career Fair (Jan), Green Career Fair (April). To view employers and RSVP for career fairs hosted by the UC Berkeley Career Center, go to Callisto

Tips on Getting The Most Out Of Career Fairs


Networking is a key component to the job search. Attending a Career Fair can help you build your network by meeting representatives from the organizations you are seeking employment from. Recruiters come to campus prepared to discuss job and internship opportunities and to provide information about their organizations. The fair will provide you the opportunity for a brief, less formal contact before a "real" interview later.

  • Bring many copies of your resume to give to employers.
  • Come prepared -- do your homework. Before the fair, review the list of participating employers and their job opportunities. Visit the organization's website for more information about the work, mission and goals. If you spend time researching an organization you are considering for an internship or full-time employment, you can ask very focused and specific questions at the Career Fair. This impresses representatives because it shows a genuine interest.
  • Allow yourself adequate time. Come as early as possible. You may need to return between classes. Typically, fairs are less crowded in early hours and are busiest during later on and at the end. Fairs close promptly at publicized ending times to accommodate employers' travel arrangements.
  • Get your bearings. When you arrive, take a few minutes to review the map and directory for the fair. You may feel more comfortable if you quickly locate and walk by the employers in whom you're most interested. This will confirm their location and alert you to any crowds or lines of other students waiting.
  • Prioritize the employers you're most interested in. If your schedule allows, you may find it easiest to start with the employers in which you're the least interested. This will allow you to hone your approach and to be most confident when you approach the employers you're especially excited about. Be sure to balance this tip with the reality that you may have little time and that many other students may be interested in the same employers. Assume that you will need to wait to speak with some employers.
  • Introduce yourself. Extend your hand, say "hello" and state your name. Welcome the representative to the Berkeley campus. Have your resume ready to give to the employer. Come prepared with many questions about the organization.
  • Take notes when you inquire about next steps and the possibility of talking with additional managers. The representative at the fair may not be able to answer all of your questions or know specifics about your job interests. Write down the names, telephone numbers, etc. of other staff in the organization whom you can contact later. Note specific employer information sessions, on-campus interviewing and projected hiring dates that will affect you. You will not be able to take advantage of this information if you don't record it.
  • Ask the representative for his/her card, and then promptly send a thank-you note. Having the business card of the representative you have just spoken with serves three purposes. First, you have a direct contact with the organization, including the proper spelling of the representative's name, direct telephone line, etc. Second, a brief thank-you note acknowledges the help they gave you and the time they took to visit campus. Third, sending thank-you notes is a good professional habit.
  • Be courteous! In addition to representing yourself, you also represent the Goldman School and the University. All of the organizations at the fair are there because of their interest in hiring Goldman students. Some representatives are Goldman/Cal alumni. Demonstrate sensitivity to other students waiting to speak with employers by keeping your questions brief and offering to continue your conversation at a later time. Enjoy the fair and your interaction with the employers. Let your positive attitude show!
  • Dress appropriately. First impressions are important. Graduate students should dress in Professional Attire.
Suggested Attire

Dress appropriately. First impressions are important. Professional Attire is appropriate for graduate students attending a Career Fair.

Professional Attire for Women
  • Suit Type:  Business skirt / pants suit in a classic style.  Avoid trendy colors (note, women have more flexibility in colors).
  • Under the Suit Jacket:  Collared blouse or conservative shell in a color that complements your suit.
  • Shoes/Belt/Other Accessories:  Black or brown shoes or boots (in a color that complements your suit); Close-toed shoes (no sandals); Wear nylons that match your skin color; Belt that matches shoe color.
Professional Attire for Men
  • Suit Type:  Dark grey, navy, black (avoid bold pinstripes).
  • Under Suit Jacket:  White shirt or light colored shirt that in a color that complements your suit.
  • Shoes/Belt:  Black or brown shoes (whichever complements your suit color) with some shine; Dark socks only; Belt that matches shoe color.