How To Be Successful At Your Next Job Fair

Chelsea Lawler

If you are at the beginnings of your career search, attending a job or career fair is a wonderful step in the right direction. University campuses and professional industries hold career or job fairs in order to see if you may be a potential match for their company. Job and career fairs are one of the many ways you can start the job search process and aid in finding a potential job opportunity. Below are several tips on how to be successful at a career or job fair, which may enhance your chances of obtaining a second interview.

1. Register for the Job Fair
If possible, pre-register for the fair online, which may allow you to submit any imperative information such as a résumé. Pre-registering allows employers to see potential applicants prior to their arrival, therefore, a potential employer may make note of a résumé and person they would like to meet. It is a simple and easy step that may be beneficial for you.

2. Do Your Research!
As a job/career seeker, it is imperative to see which employers will be at the fair and how they correlate to your interests. Make a list of employers you wish to see and possibly interview with. Research their history and other pertinent information prior to stopping by their booth. Allocate time with the potential employers that interest you and forgo those whom you do not wish to interact with.

3. Bring Your Resume!
Maybe it is an obvious tip, but do not forget to bring your résumé! Make several copies of it to hand out to different employers.

4. Do You Have a Portfolio?
In addition to bringing many copies of a simple résumé, you can opt to bring a portfolio as well. A portfolio will contain not only your résumé, but also your references and samples of your work, if applicable. Maybe you were an art student or finance major? A portfolio allows you to add images and other pertinent information that a simple résumé cannot include.

5. Dress for Success
Make a lasting impression! Research the companies that will be at the job fair and make a note of their dress code. Every profession is different in their attire, so do your research!

6. Be Prepared With a Strategy
It is essential to formulate a plan prior to arriving at the job or career fair. As you arrive, see if there are any new potential employers that may have registered late. Scope out the layout of the job fair and whom you want to interview with. It is suggested that you meet with your top choices of potential employers, as soon as you can. You can return to your top employers at the end of the career or job fair to thank them, as it acts as a reminder for them. Keep in mind that many employers may have long lines, so be sure to keep your schedule flexible as to see each potential employer on your list.

7. Interviewing
A job or career fair allows for the opportunity to make an impression with an interview. You will have a very short amount of time to make a memorable impression. Make the most of your time by developing a short speech to highlight what you will bring to the table.

  • Be sure to offer the potential employer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and show your enthusiasm for the potential career.
  • Be prepared to answer any questions pertaining to your résumé or portfolio.
  • Many potential employers will ask you why you are at the job fair, so be sure to tailor your answer to not only your interests, but the company’s interests as well. Market yourself!
  • Be sure to have questions for the potential employer as well.
  • Be confident in your delivery!

8. Network
Perhaps this is an obvious tip, but career and job fairs are all about networking with one another. Building a relationship with career or job recruiters is essential. Companies like LinkedIn can help a lot with this process. Additionally, you can build a network with other job seekers at the fair. Building a network with other job seekers allows for sharing of information, such as company information and insights into how you can answer questions.

9. Follow Up!
Quite possibly the most important tip in this list, following up with a recruiter is essential to the possibility of obtaining a second interview. If possible, leave a voicemail message with a recruiter later in the evening, or more traditionally, write a thank you note. In your note, or voicemail, you can thank the recruiter for their time. Do not forget to reiterate your interest, qualifications, and interest in a second interview.

About The Author

Chelsea Lawler

Chelsea Lawler is a recent graduate of Philadelphia University with her Master of Science degree in Fashion Apparel Studies. She graduated from Mount Aloysius College in 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Chelsea enjoys running her small jewelry business for vintage clothing, and traveling. With her writing at Career Igniter, she hopes to educate both students and job seekers on the various facets of the job hunting process.

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