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The Dos and Don’ts of Attending Career Fairs

Attending a career fair can be incredibly beneficial. Career fairs open up opportunities for learning about companies with job openings and making connections with employers. Above all, career fairs are the perfect chance to discover a job that is a great fit for you. If you are currently looking for employment, do some research as to what career fairs are in your area.

Standing out at a career fair can help you expand your employment options, and could even land you a job. Below are some Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind while attending a career fair.

Do: Research

Doing research before the career fair on which companies will be attending is vital. First, review the list of companies and choose which employers you are interested in. Next, research each company and the job responsibilities for the relevant positions. Prepare a question or two for each company of interest; coming to the career fair prepared with a specific question for them is a great way to impress a potential employer.

Do: Dress Up

Dressing “too professionally” at a career fair is better than dressing too casually. When picking your outfit for a career fair, aim for business-professional wear. For men, this includes a collared shirt and dress pants, or a collared shirt with rolled-up sleeves, a tie, and dress pants. For women, this includes a professional dress, a blouse and dress pants, or a blouse and a dress skirt. Dressing professionally and appropriately for a career fair demonstrates to employers that you are ready to be a part of their workplace.

Do: Take Notes

Career fairs often include dozens of companies. To remember exactly what you talked about with each company, bring a note-taking tool to take notes during your conversation. This is vital, as you will be using these notes to send a follow-up email to the potential employer after the career fair. You do not need to write down each word of your conversation; only write down necessary details, such as the name of the person you talked to and details, current open positions, and specific skills they are looking for in an employee. If you are not a quick notetaker, consider recording conversations on your phone to transcribe later.

Don’t: Forget Your Resume

Do not forget to bring several copies of your resume. To be safe, bring ten or more copies of your resume to give to recruiters and personnel. You can adjust this number as needed in response to how many companies will be at your particular career fair. When you approach an employer’s table at a career fair, introduce yourself and distribute your resume to one of the professionals. Giving your resume to a recruiter maximizes your chances of a recruiter following up with you after the fair. Additionally, referring to your resume and pointing out previous work experiences during conversation can be helpful to the person you are talking to.

Don’t: Interrupt

When approaching a company’s table at a career fair, do not interrupt a conversation between company personnel and another career fair attendee. Career fairs are often busy and crowded with different people; do not let this phase you. You will get a chance to talk to the company after they are finished talking with the previous attendee, so be patient and polite while waiting to be spoken to.

Don’t: Fail to Follow Up

Do not forget to ask for the contact information of the company personnel you talked to so you can follow up via email after the career fair. Following up with a potential employer a few days after meeting them after a career fair shows your dedication to the position. While following up with each person you talk to, remember that the professionals most likely met several people at the career fair and may not remember each detail of your conversation. Include in the follow-up email specifics of your career fair conversation to job the recruiter’s memory and set you apart from other potential employees. Attaching your resume to the follow-up email can be beneficial in case they lost your resume since the career fair. Lastly, always thank the professional for their time at the career fair. This shows that you are grateful for the opportunity and are a pleasant, respectful worker.

Attending a career fair can maximize your chances of learning about job openings in your area and making connections with potential employers. Keep in mind the dos and the don’ts listed above, and you may have an incredibly successful career fair. If you do not find employment after attending a career fair, search for another career fair to attend. Keep trying until you find your perfect fit! If you have questions about how to attend a career fair successfully, contact us today.

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