How to Prepare for a Career Fair

Career Fairs are an excellent way to meet with local employers in your field. Whether you're a student looking for full time employment after graduation, a professional looking for a change or even if you are just considering going back to school and want to know more about job opportunities in your city, Career Fairs present the perfect opportunity to network with people who are recruiting.  Many of these recruiters can also provide valuable insight into the current job market or the skills that are most in demand.  For these reasons, you will not want to go unprepared!

Use the following guidelines to help you stand out from the crowd:

  1. Do Your Research - find out ahead of time which companies will be attending the career fair.  Visit their websites to learn more about what they do, their products, services, missions, values and any open positions they are currently recruiting for.  This will help you prioritize the employers you want to target. Your research will also help you ask better questions and provide more relevant answers when you speaking with the company representatives.
  2. Prepare Your Resume - take the time to review and update your resume.  For employers that you are interested in, you can also consider tailoring your resume to fit the organization or the job you are interested in.  Be sure to bring enough copies to hand out!
  3. Prepare Your Answers - after preparing your resume, take the time to think about your skills and experience that you have to offer.  Practice a quick pitch that summarizes your strengths.
  4. Dress Professionally - attend the career fair dressed for success. Choose an outfit that is professional and brings you confidence.  Don't forget to smile - you never know who is watching or listening.
  5. Gather Information - once you're at the Career Fair, don't forget to ask for business cards or the name and title of the person you were speaking with.  You should also pick up any company brochures or pamphlets so you can review the material after the event.
  6. Follow Up - follow up within the week and an email to the employers you met at the event. Recruiters attend many Career Fairs so be sure to include the date and time you met and the event you were at. 
 A career fair is a great opportunity to network, meet employers and to make an impression! With a little preparation ahead of time, a professional resume and the right attitude, you can make the most of the opportunity!