Attending a career fair in your area is a great way to network with a lot of employers all in one day. It is also an opportunity to network with other attendees. It can get your resume out there and give you some great experience with interviewing and using your elevator pitch! Here are some tips on what to do at a job fair to help you best position yourself for success.
- Check out the list of employers attending the career fair beforehand so you can do some research ahead of time. You can explore the company website (a good place to start is their "About Us" section) or review recent news articles. This will show that you know something about the company and will help you prepare some questions to ask the employer.
- Organize a list of the companies you are most interested in so you can manage your time better while at the fair. Start with listing the companies that are a top interest for you and prioritize from there. And be sure to take notes on the employers that you speak with. You will be talking to so many people that you might forget the details of what you discussed.
- Know what to bring to a job fair: a lot of copies of your resume (10-20)! You want to be prepared to give them out to the employers that request it. These should be printed on quality resume paper.
- Dress to impress! First impressions are important. You want to dress as if you were going on a traditional interview.
- Practice your elevator pitch. Be prepared to tell an employer about why they should hire you and what you have to offer. You will be competing with a lot of other candidates in this environment, so you need to stand out.
- Get the business card/contact information for the people that you speak with so you can send them a thank you letter promptly afterwards. This will show the employer your continued interest and gives you a direct contact for the company. Don't wait too long as this increases the chance of them forgetting you!
- Don't focus all of your time on the employers. Remember, each attendee will walk in with their own unique network of people, and may be able to connect you to someone looking for your skill sets. Be polite and respectful to everyone you meet, and don't be afraid to strike up a conversation.
Career fairs can be intimidating if you have never been to one before. Following the above tips on what to do at a job fair can help arm you with the confidence you need to succeed and make the most of the opportunity.
Interested in more posts on job search-related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.
If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for help preparing for a job fair or other career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 Option 5 or at firstname.lastname@example.org