The best way to prepare for a nursing fair is to research the employers that will be there, practice introducing yourself and selling your skills, and polish your resume. A career fair can be a great place to meet and network with professional employers, but it can also be very intimidating. You can increase your chances of success at a nursing career fair by setting clear goals for the event, and walking in with a plan in place.
Polishing up your resume is one of the first things you should do. Make sure that your resume reflects your most recent job history, and has your current contact information prominently displayed. It is also usually a good idea to have a career counselor or trusted friend proofread your resume, and offer suggestions on wording or formatting.
Once you are satisfied that your resume is perfectly presented, make a number of copies. You will want to hand them out to potential employers at the job fair. Sometimes, the nursing job fair sponsor will also collect resumes a couple of weeks in advance of the event for inclusion in what is known as a resume book. This book is usually available to employers, and can be a valuable way of getting your information directly into the hands of potential hirers. When you register for the nursing career fair, ask if this sort of service is offered.
Most nursing career fair organizers will publish a list of all employers who will be advertising their job openings. It is usually a good idea to read through this list a couple of days before the event. Single out the employers you would like to meet or are interested in working for. More often than not, nursing career fairs have an overwhelming number of tables, booths, and representatives. Knowing in advance which tables you want to visit will make the fair seem much more navigable — and will make your job searching go more smoothly, too.
Once you have narrowed down the employers you would like to interview with, you will need to rehearse a brief introduction that you can use when approaching the tables. Try to take no more than a minute to introduce yourself and your interest in the employer. A nursing career fair is a good place to make a first impression, but it is not the sort of venue for detailed job interviews. Representatives will be hoping to talk to a lot of different people, and usually will not have much time to spend with any one person. In most cases, you will have a better chance of being remembered if you have practiced a concise introduction and present yourself confidently.
A nursing career fair is a professional event, which means that your appearance matters. Business suits are not usually required for job searching at a career fair, but it is imperative that you present yourself professionally. When you are looking for nursing jobs at a career fair, in many ways you are selling yourself in person more than you are on paper. Your skills and accomplishments are important, but so is how you interact, and how well you present yourself. Be sure to prepare accordingly.