Career fairs are one way to gain exposure to several employers all at once, or get face time with a compelling company at their own job fair. In order to get the most out of any career event, it is important to maximize your efforts to stand out in the crowd. Here are a few tips to boost your career fair experience:
- Come Prepared: Do your research. Understand the company or companies you are visiting, as well as the position(s) you are interested in. Prepare thoughtful questions in advance to show your genuine interest.
- Dress to Impress: Dress just how you would for a regular interview, and tailor your outfit for the industry. For example, in the banking industry employees dress very professionally — men and women who wear a business suit will always make a strong impression. Dressing for the job will help set you apart as a serious candidate.
- Give Yourself Plenty of Time: A career fair can be a busy place, so make sure to arrive with plenty of time to network. If you come at the end of the day, you might not have a chance to meet with everyone you had hoped to speak with. You may also feel rushed and not appear as composed as you would like.
- Prepare Your Sales Pitch: Have a short response prepared when asked, “Tell me about yourself.” Preparing a speech in advanced will help ensure you do not stumble over your words. If you have done your research, you’ll understand the company and the role you are interested in so you can tailor your response accordingly. Quickly sum up your relevant experience and education, and give an example as to why you are the right candidate.
- Be Engaging: How do you appear interesting, genuine and approachable? A firm handshake, direct eye contact, good posture and a genuine smile go a long way when making a first impression.
- Come Alone: Leave family, friends and kids at home. You would not bring them to an interview, so do not bring them to a career fair.
Combined, these efforts can assist you in making a strong impression at your next career or job fair. Good luck in your job search!
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