Tips for Getting the Most out of Career Fairs
What can you do to compete with the crowds attending job fairs? These tips will help you get ready to attend and maximize your opportunities while you’re there.
BEFORE THE FAIR
Employers expect you to be prepared. Make sure you:
- Update and polish your résumé. Research how to make your résumé stand out.
- Review the list of companies attending and the jobs they are advertising.
- Make a day-of plan. Make a list of which companies you want to speak with, where they will be located on the provided event map, and what you want to speak with them about.
- Practice an introduction. Have a prepared, 30 second or less “elevator speech” about who you are and what you are looking for.
- Print plenty of copies of your résumé. Consider bringing business cards and your portfolio as well!
DURING THE FAIR
Come prepared and be professional.
- Dress professionally for your industry. Ask yourself, what would you wear for a job interview? Career fairs are essentially that.
- Make sure to wear your provided name tag. They help employers identify which department you’re in.
- Allow yourself adequate time. Do all of your prep work prior to the fair. This ensures you have enough time to speak with all of the employers you’re interested in.
- Respect employers’ materials/giveaways. Don’t focus on giveaways or promotional materials. Instead, pay attention to your conversation.
- Be assertive and make a good first impression. Start with a firm handshake, and be prepared to ask questions. Employers are eager to see how you handle yourself and how you demonstrate your communication skills.
- Ask for business cards. This gives you direct contact with the organization for networking and follow up purposes.
AFTER THE FAIR
- Write a short thank you note to companies you spoke with. Make sure to acknowledging their time and thank them for coming to campus. This is an excellent practice to get used to and leaves a lasting impression.
- Follow up as necessary. Apply for jobs, schedule interviews, and make an effort to stay connected with organizations you’re interested in.
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