How to Conquer Career Fairs
Reading Time 2 minutes
Remember that famous movie quote “build it and they will come?” A career fair is just that. Companies attend career fairs to meet their future employees; but for you attending is not enough. You need to be well prepared to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips:
Create a plan
What companies will be there? Who do you want to speak with? Dig into the details and create a plan to make the most of your time (and theirs).
Do your homework
Asking “what does your company do?” will not impress recruiters. A little research goes a long way! Learn a bit about each company you plan to speak with so that you can demonstrate your knowledge and interest.
Prep your paperwork
Get a second set of eyes on your resume and plan to bring at least twice as many copies as you think you’ll need. It’s better to have too many than to run out.
Dress for success
Make sure your outfit is professional and comfortable. You’ll likely be on your feet for a few hours, so this isn’t the time to break in a new pair of shoes.
Practice your pitch
You’ll only have a few minutes with each recruiter, so make certain your polished elevator pitch is ready and memorized.
Introduce yourself with energy and enthusiasm – even if it’s the sixth recruiter you’ve met with and your face hurts from smiling. Firm handshake. Eye contact. You’ve got this.
You came, you saw, you conquered – but the work’s not quite done yet. While at the career fair, ask employers that you talked to for a business card so that you can follow up. To stand out and stay memorable, send a short email to each recruiter you met thanking them for their time and asking to be considered as positions become available. Be sure to attach your resume for their reference.