What are the Best Job Fair Tips?

T. L. Childree

Job fairs can provide an opportunity to explore different sources of employment, but there are a few tips to follow for a successful experience. One of the most important job fair tips is to pre-register for the event and obtain a list of participating employers to save time at the fair. An applicant will need to have a few résumé copies, a list of references, and work samples for each potential interview. A job-seeker must dress conservatively, plan an interview strategy, and rehearse for a very brief interview. Helpful information should be shared with other job seekers and a follow-up must be conducted after each interview.

Job fair attendees should fill out a detailed resume to hand out during the event.
Job fair attendees should fill out a detailed resume to hand out during the event.

Careful planning is one of the most important job fair tips to follow for a successful experience. Many job fairs have a pre-registration process that allows job-seekers to submit a summary résumé to prospective employers before the event takes place. Pre-registration gives employers an opportunity to pre-screen applicants and make plans to meet the most interesting prospects. In addition to pre-registering, it may also be possible to obtain a list of potential employers who plan to attend the job fair. This list can help identify possible employers and make time for more interviews during the event.

Being prepared for a group interview is a good idea for successfully navigating a job fair.
Being prepared for a group interview is a good idea for successfully navigating a job fair.

There are a few other job fair tips that can help eliminate common mistakes. An applicant should bring at least two résumé copies for each potential employer and have them ready to give to the interviewer. Many recruiters prefer to conduct initial interviews with several applicants at the same time. Job-seekers sometimes find it helpful to have their first résumé page enlarged for easy viewing during a group interview. A list of professional references and several good work samples should be included with the résumé.

It's important to give a firm handshake following every discussion during a job fair to leave a good impression.
It's important to give a firm handshake following every discussion during a job fair to leave a good impression.

Wearing conservative, professional attire is very important when attending a job fair. Recruiters often judge an applicant by the first impression made, so being properly dressed may help. It is also a good idea to develop an interview strategy before arriving at the event. Interviews should be conducted with top employment prospects during the morning hours. Secondary prospects can be seen during the middle of the day, with a brief follow-up visit to top prospects in the late afternoon.

A job application is an opportunity to create a positive first impression with legible, easy-to-understand responses that succinctly highlight the applicant’s accomplishments.
A job application is an opportunity to create a positive first impression with legible, easy-to-understand responses that succinctly highlight the applicant’s accomplishments.

One of the most overlooked job fair tips is being prepared for a very brief interview. Job fair interviews often last less than two minutes, and adequate preparation is essential. Some experts recommend developing a short commercial-style presentation that covers the basic interview information. It is important for applicants to be enthusiastic and make frequent eye contact with the recruiter during the interview.

Attendees should get the names of business contacts they talk with and send a note thanking them for their time.
Attendees should get the names of business contacts they talk with and send a note thanking them for their time.

Sharing helpful information with other job-seekers can be beneficial for everyone. This practice may help to build a network of shared information among applicants and open doors to employment that were previously unknown. It is a good idea to follow-up on any interviews conducted at the event. The best way to do this is by sending a thank you letter to the recruiter with an additional résumé copy. This letter should be sent the day after the fair to keep the information fresh.

It's important to keep a positive demeanor while talking to employers at a job fair.
It's important to keep a positive demeanor while talking to employers at a job fair.
Using a lint roller can remove hair and particles for clothing and give a sharper first impression.
Using a lint roller can remove hair and particles for clothing and give a sharper first impression.

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Discussion Comments

Heavanet

Don't get discouraged too easily even if you think that there is nothing at a particular job fair for you. I went to a job fair once that seemed to have little to offer. However, I got several calls for interviews several weeks later from connections I had made while at the fair. Networking is a vital part of finding a job!

Ocelot60

Don't rule out employers at job fairs that you are not interested in at first. Though certain companies may not seem like good matches for your education, skills and talents, you may be surprised at the different types of jobs offered.

For example, you may have a degree in communications and think that a hospital or health care organization will have nothing to offer you. However, most of these companies need experts in the communications field to conduct public relations work.

Talentryto

When you attend a job fair, visit as many employers' booths as possible. While you are at each one, talk to the representatives in a positive, upbeat way to express your interest in employment and emphasis your skills. Your outgoing nature and positive attitude will not go unnoticed by potential employers.

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