Tips for Preparing for a Career Fair
Whether you’re actively looking for opportunities or just curious about what the job market has to offer, attending a career fair can help you start or further your career. To make the most of attending a career fair, use these tips to get prepared:
Research Companies Ahead of Time
Start thinking ahead of time about which companies you’d like to meet at the career fair. Check out the event website and list out each booth you would like to visit. Knowing which companies you’re interested in beforehand gives you an edge in both networking and giving a good first impression.
Network Ahead of Time
Utilize the power of the online and local community to connect with professionals who can help you make the most of the career fair. Reach out to alumni, local businesses, and previous employers to arrange an introduction and learn what to expect in advance. When you do meet the company representatives, you won’t be wasting their time and you can stand out in the crowd.
Create Your Elevator Pitch
Having an elevator pitch prepared is essential for career fairs. An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive statement of who you are, what you can offer to the company, and why they should hire you. Practice your pitch ahead of time and you’ll be able to grab the employer’s attention and help them remember you.
Prepare Relevant Documents
Take copies of your resume with you to the fair and have an engaging cover letter that speaks to the positions you’re interested in. Make sure to also bring business cards to hand out during the event.
Dress for Success
Your appearance and attitude during a career fair is just as important as your job skills and qualifications. Plan out a professional and comfortable outfit ahead of time and make sure it looks clean and presentable. To stand out from the crowd, considering wearing something bright or statement-making, but avoid over accessorizing.
Follow Up After the Fair
Make sure to follow up with employers after the career fair. Write thank you emails or handwritten letters and connect with the employers that you met on LinkedIn. Doing so will help foster relationships and stay top of mind when it comes time to hiring.
In conclusion, attending a career fair can be an invaluable experience whether you’re a recent grad or an experienced professional. With the right preparation, you can network, make connections, and even land a job. Good luck!