How to talk to recruiters at a career fair

A scene from the 2019 Devex Global Development Career Forum. Photo by: Armando Gallardo / Devex

It can be difficult to know how to start a conversation with a recruiter at a career fair and strike that balance between information gathering and marketing yourself — should you wait for the recruiter to ask questions? Or should you take the lead and tell them about yourself and your qualifications?

As a job seeker, the aim of these events is both to gather insights about an organization or job and to share information about yourself, demonstrating your interest or fit. In talking to recruiters, however, you don’t want to seem too rehearsed or overload them with information.

About the author

  • Emma Smith

    Emma Smith is a Reporter at Devex. She covers all things related to careers and hiring in the global development community as well as mental health within the sector — from tips on supporting humanitarian staff to designing mental health programs for refugees. Emma has reported from key development hubs in Europe and co-produced Devex’s DevProWomen2030 podcast series. She holds a degree in journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University and a master's in media and international conflict. In addition to writing for regional news publications, she has worked with organizations focused on child and women’s rights.