Career Fairs: How to Make the Most Out of It

career fairs, professionalismCareer fairs can greatly help you stand high in the competition

Career fairs are ideal opportunities to learn about companies and meet recruiters. Making a strong impression is important, as recruiters may see thousands of potential applicants during the fair. Following basic career fair etiquette will set you apart from the competition and prove your professionalism.

Do Your Homework

Read the career fair’s guide and make a list of your top prospects. Before arriving, research each company online so you don’t waste valuable time asking a recruiter basic questions, like what the company does. Coming prepared is the best way to show recruiters you are really interested.?

Be the Early Bird?

Take your prepared list of top prospects and use it to make an effective plan of action. Visit your top companies early in the day to make your interest clear and make an impression while other competitors are standing around in line.?

Dress for the Job?

A career fair is an opportune time to dress to impress. Make sure your best suit is clean and pressed, then wear it with confidence. To set yourself apart from a sea of other dark suits, don a distinctive yet professional tie or shirt.?

Ask Thoughtful Questions

Skip the superficial stuff and go straight to the deeper questions. Ask the recruiter about the company’s culture, future plans and expectations for applicants. If you did your research, asking thoughtful questions about the company should be easy.?

Practice Your Elevator Pitch?

The ?elevator pitch,? a brief five-minute speech touting your best qualities and most impressive skills, is particularly useful at career fairs where recruiters see thousands of job seekers each day. Prepare to sell yourself concisely and confidently. The recruiter will most likely forget a handshake, but will remember your compelling pitch.?

Pack Your Resume?

Don’t be afraid to be the one arriving with a stack of 100 resumes. Coming prepared shows you are serious, and bring plenty of extras because potential employers may want as many as three copies. Present your resume every time you meet someone at the career fair; it’s a good conversation-starter.?

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Going to a career fair can be nerve wracking. After all, the room is filled with people who can make or break your career. Set your anxieties aside and challenge yourself by setting personal targets. Your goal may just be to talk to two or three recruiters. Prepare questions beforehand, take a deep breath and dive in. Once you see how easy it is, you will have no trouble approaching other potential employers.?