Career Fair Strategies for Success


Fri, Nov 28, 2014

Preparing for success is crucial for any endeavor in life, but particularly when you plan on attending a career fair.  In order to assist you in showing up prepared, performing at your best, and leaving a powerful impression on employers we’ve compiled a list of more than 20 tips to assist you in achieving success at your next career fair.

Before the Career Fair

It might be cliché to even mention this but it is important to remember that you must dress professionally when attending a job fair, even if you are just doing so to expand your network.  Nice professional shoes, a suit and tie for gentlemen, and a suit for ladies will go a long way to leaving a lasting impression. Make sure to review your resume and print at least two copies for each booth.  Do some research on which companies plan on having booths at the event and make sure to research what those companies do and create a cheat sheet that describes what they do and how your background will meet their needs. Pack a briefcase with a notepad, your resumes, and at least two pens, and decide on a system to organize the abundance of information you will be receiving prior to the event.

Standing in Line at a Career Fair

Your etiquette while standing in line can spell job success or utter disaster.  Your potential employer will be watching your moves and listening to your conversation so keep it friendly and professional.  Strike up a conversation with others in line around you, and work toward mutually agreeing to share job leads, or meet for coffee to discuss strategy.  This down time is incredibly useful if you use it correctly so always be thinking of what you can do to impress a recruiter, whether it be networking in line, or reviewing your cheat sheet so that you will know how to blow them away once you reach the front of the line.

Visiting the Booth at a Career Fair

Greet them with a smile, shake their hand, and offer to answer any questions they have regarding your background and experience on the spot and pay attention to the questions that they ask you. Write down any key questions that you may hear, but did not know how to answer, and create a powerful answer before your next interview. Show up prepared to discuss what you want in a career, and how your skills match the position you desire. Remember to fit your answers to what you believe that employers specific needs are at that time. Don’t forget to ask the recruiter who you should speak to within the company about any further opportunities that may be coming available, and try to attain their information. Furthermore, discuss your interest and ask what steps you should take next. Try to discover as much information about the company’s current needs, and their company culture to determine if the company is a spot on match for your skill set and ambitions.

Remember Your P’s and Q’s

Express gratitude for the time that the employer spends speaking to you, any questions they answered for you, and any information they provided you.  Gratitude goes a long way in burning your memory into their minds.  After they’ve provided you with information make sure to record it down somewhere, either on the notepad that you thought ahead to bring with you, or on the back of their card, especially if the recruiter isn’t accepting any resumes at this time. Maintain an organization system in your briefcase as you collect papers and instructions from each company and then immediately add any notes that you feel you will need to remember.