How to Prepare for a Career Fair

There are many reasons to get excited as you prepare for a career fair in your community. A career fair brings employers together in one place so that you can maximize your job search efforts. Job fairs are a great way to get out there in front of the businesses that are doing the most hiring, plus it’s a fine way to network with others and find more job leads. Here are some ways you can be more successful at the next career fair by preparing ahead of time to make the most of this type of event.

Spruce Up Your Resume

Before heading to the career fair, make sure your resume looks professional and includes the kind of information you want employers to know about you. Not only do you need to list your career objective, educational and career experience, but also you will want to include a short list of your top three to five skills at the very top of your resume to catch hiring managers’ attention. In addition, be sure to spell check your resume and that it is set up in an easy-to-read format. Get multiple copies of your resume printed out on high quality paper on an ink-jet printer.

Learn More about the Companies Attending

One of the best ways to impress recruiters at the career fair is to ask questions that demonstrate you understand what each business is about. To do this, get a list of the companies that will be attending the event and systematically research company websites ahead of time. Take at least five minutes to search for the company mission statement, the executive team and learn more about what these employers have to offer you as a job seeker. Then make a short list of questions to ask each representative at the job fair.

Present the Best First Impression

A great way to impress the companies you will be visiting at the career fair is to present yourself in the best possible fashion. Recruiters often form a lasting impression of job seekers by their appearance so its important that you put the best foot forward at the career fair. Take the time to pick out a professional outfit to wear to the career fair, keeping your look conservative and clean. Get a haircut or updated hairstyle before the event and limit your jewelry, makeup and fragrance. Make eye contact and shake the recruiters hand when greeting them. These methods will help you make a good first impression at the career fair.

Practice Your Introduction

If you are the type of person who gets nervous or sweaty just thinking about meeting new people at a career fair, don’t panic. There are ways to prepare yourself emotionally for the day of the career fair. Take some time to write a short introductory statement about yourself. Just include a simple greeting, your name, where you are from and what kind of career you are looking for. Then practice this in front of a mirror, looking yourself in the eye and smiling. Once you feel comfortable doing this, try practicing with a friend or family member and be open to their feedback and suggestions. By the time the career fair rolls around, you will be ready to face the people you meet there and you may just walk out with a great new job.