What to Do at a Career Fair
Career fairs are excellent opportunities for potential employees to network, learn of job opportunities, and potentially highlight their skill sets to employment recruiters. Below are some tips that can help you make the most of your career fair experience:
Before the Fair
- Research participating businesses – Review the list of businesses attending the career fair and research any that appeal to you. Familiarize yourself with their products, services, and corporate structure.
- Research key contacts – Search for any people from the participating businesses who will be attending the fair. Knowing who you may potentially encounter can help you better prepare for the encounter.
- Dress the part – You may have the opportunity to interact with potential employers, so make sure you dress appropriately.
- Practice your elevator speech – Preparation is key, you don’t want to be caught off-guard with nothing to say. Put together a 30-second introduction about yourself so you can quickly express your purpose and qualifications.
- Gather materials – Have your resume, a pen, paper, and your business cards ready to go.
- Be well-rested – Career fairs are exhausting and stressful, so get a good night’s sleep the night before.
During the Fair
- Introduce yourself – Greet recruiters with a firm handshake and smile. Be sure to mention your name, field of study, and university.
- Be confident – Ask to speak with a representative from the company and show enthusiasm for the opportunity.
- Be prepared – Make sure you have copies of your resume and be prepared to talk about your education, work experience, and relevant skills.
- Listen actively – Take time to listen to the representatives and ask questions. You may learn something new or hear of potential job openings.
- Follow up – Make sure you get the business card of the recruiter you spoke to, as well as contact information for the company. Follow up with a polite email expressing your interest.
After the Fair
- Send thank you emails – It’s always a good idea to send a personalized thank you note to representatives you spoke to at the career fair.
- Be patient – It does take time for companies to review paperwork and contact potential hires. Be patient and keep an eye on relevant job postings.
- Stay organized – Log any companies and contacts that you spoke with in a spreadsheet or other organized format, so you can easily refer to it later.
Career fairs can help you open the door to potential job opportunities and to network with industry professionals. Knowing the right steps to take before, during, and after the career fair can make a big difference in your outcomes.