Career Fair 101: Tips to Help You Stand Out
Thinking about attending a career fair soon? Career fairs can help you find your next career and set up networking connections, but they can also be filled with people looking for the same types of positions. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you stand out in a sea of potential candidates.
Prepare your resume
If needed, refreshing your resume should be the first on your to-do list. Once your resume is up to date, looking into how many companies will be present can give you an idea of how many resumes you should print. Granted, you may not be interested in all of the companies, and you may not have time to visit with each and every one of them, but having a comfortable number of resumes available will make it easier to leave your information with recruiters.
Research the companies
If there’s an available list of employers that are attending, take your time to research which companies you’d like to get to know more about. becoming informative about what the company is about and what interests you can help you engage further with the recruiter. While at the event you can set out a list of your top companies you’d like to visit. Make it a point to locate each company at the event, and space out your time accordingly!
Dress for success
Wear something professional, but comfortable. Make sure your outfit is lightweight and you’re wearing comfortable shoes for standing and walking. Depending on the climate, keep your hands free from any additional garments leaving them open for an introductory handshake. Try avoiding a heavy briefcase or purse to avoid weighing you down or slipping off your shoulder.
Be confident and ask questions
Show confidence when you’re introducing yourself! Give a firm handshake and a confident smile to the recruiter in front of you. Introduce yourself and give the recruiter time to talk about available positions or the company itself. Asking questions will not only show that you’re interested and care about learning more, but it’ll also help you decide if this opportunity is right for you. It’s important to hand the recruiter your resume before the conversation is over. Speaking while handing the recruiter your resume will leave a more lasting impression than just placing your resume on the table.
Before leaving make sure you have a contact for each of the companies you’ve spoken with to follow up with after the job fair. Sending an email within 24 to 48 hours to thank them for their time will refresh their memory and could prompt further discussion. Personalizing each email will show that you were listening and are interested in opportunities with the company.
These tips will help prepare you for any job fair. Knowing what to do and how to handle yourself will give you the confidence you need to succeed!
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