How To Prepare for a Career Fair?
Last Updated on November 9, 2022
Career fairs are the next step toward your future career.
Are you considering the possibilities of your future career? And have some doubts as to what the specific career incorporates. Students are often invited to a career fair.
They are given the opportunity to meet future employers and build a relationship where they can discuss future internships or opportunities that might be available for them.
Career fairs offer a one-on-one opportunity to physically impress prospective employers. There’s no need to hand in resumes or apply online. Knowing how to prepare for a career fair ensures that you will stand out from the crowd.
In order to prepare for a career fair, we’ll take you through some of the most important steps, so you will be an inspiring candidate that is remembered by all.
What Is a Career Fair?
Firstly, we will need to understand what a career fair entails before we can fully prepare for it. A career fair is an event where representatives from specific organizations or companies meet with a large group of job seekers over the course of the scheduled fair.
Career fairs are sometimes referred to as career expos, usually convened in a large building. Each company will have its own stand where prospective employees can learn about opportunities, internships, and how to apply for a job. There may even be an interview held by a member of the human resources department.
There are generally a wide variety of companies that are represented at a career fair. Some companies will hold their own career expos where their opening positions will be advertised. The aim of companies that attend career fairs is to advertise and inform job seekers of what they can expect from their company.
Attending career fairs is helpful for new graduates, as their career options will be broadened. However, it is important to avoid attending a career fair that is aimed at high-level jobs or ones that require extensive experience.
Newly graduates should rather attend career fairs that best suit their qualifications. If you are in the process of changing your career, attending a career fair will provide you with an overview of what jobs are in-demand and which careers are more specialized.
At a career fair, you will bump into thousands of people, some of them may be applying for the same job. It’s important to start a friendly conversation with everyone. You never know who is listening or what a conversation will lead to.
How You Can Prepare For a Career Fair
In order to do your best at a career expo, you will need to prepare for every kind of possible situation. Some things you will have no control over, but for everything else, here are some tips to prepare for a career fair.
Research The Companies That Will Have Their Own Booth
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. There is generally a list of potential companies attending the fair that will be contained in the brochure. Go through the list of companies and select several of them that seem interesting to you.
Do a background check on whether these businesses are located, if they are a franchise, how many stores they have, what their top-selling products are, or what specialized services they are known for in the industry.
Now that you have basic background information on the relevant companies, ask informative questions to the representative. It will show a true interest in the company and impress the representative.
Register For The Career Fair
Registering for a career fair will sometimes require you to submit a copy of your resume. Should you register in advance, your resume will form part of each company’s prospective applicants. You may even receive a call from one of the companies after the career fair.
Preregistering will often come with a discounted price, and it ensures that you will be granted access to the event on the day. These events can get overcrowded rather quickly. To avoid missing out, always register.
Plan Your Trip Carefully And Decide Who You Would Like To Meet
Seeing as you have done your research on the companies that you would like to visit, create a priority list from the most important to the least. Although these events can be scheduled for a week period, sometimes there are specific time allocations for influential representatives from a company.
Generally, when you walk in the door, you will be given a handout of where every company is based. Create a map, and a plan of action, to seek out every employer on your list. One employer may be conveniently located next to the other.
Avoid wasting time talking to unnecessary people. However, it is still important to greet everyone with a smile on your face. Should you find that you are running out of time, and spending too much time at one booth, set a five to ten-minute reminder, and move on to the next stall.
Lines to get into the top booths can be long from time to time, don’t spend exorbitant amounts of time waiting in a line. Rather, move on and try to make yourself known to several of the top companies on your list.
Prepare An Updated Version Of Your Resume And Print Extensive Copies.
You’ll never have enough resumes to give to every stand at a career fair. However, it is still important to take multiple copies of your resume with you. Some companies may request two of your resumes, while others will just require you to send them an email with your resume attached.
Prior to printing your resume, have someone take a look for any possible grammatical errors, spacing, and structure of your resume. Remember, there are thousands of applicants, so it’s important that your resume is short and stands out above the rest.
Create An Elevated Pitch
In brief, it’s important to have a quick thirty to sixty-second speech that basically explains who you are, what you are about, what skills you possess, and what your career goals are for the future.
It’s important to rehearse this pitch so it comes out naturally and you remember to say everything that you have intended.
Prepare yourself for a possible interview at the career fair. Should a company representative feel that you have the potential skills and personality to join their team, they might ask you to have a quick one-on-one interview.
It’s best to always go through some potential and common interview questions beforehand. Keep your calm and try your level best to answer the questions as best as you can. It’s important to take a breath and ponder your answer before letting it out.
If the interviewer gives you the opportunity to ask questions, it’s vital to have some preparation done in advance. This will show the representative that you are a serious candidate for the position.
What Should You Do On The Day Of The Fair?
It’s always important to arrive early to an event and dress appropriately for the part. There are several other key factors to consider. We have listed them below.
Greet Well And Be Confident
Before the covid pandemic, it was always important to greet someone with a firm handshake while smiling and looking directly into their eyes. These days, some people are still carrying the effects of social distancing and will not be willing to shake your hand. Nevertheless, it is still important to greet well and smile.
A representative from a company is there to hire individuals, be confident in your speech and use an elevator pitch that you have practiced. Should you be an inspiring student that has just left college, talk about your academics and any extracurricular activities that you are involved in.
There are often large crowds at well-known company booths. Take a notebook and pen with you and record all the important information that the representative is saying. Remember to pay particular attention to the names, contact details, and email addresses of people that you can later get in touch with.
Take Brochures And Ask For Company Cards
Ask the company’s representative for a brochure or business card, try to get as much information as you can from them, they might even put you in touch with one of the personnel in Human Resources.
As an important tip, remember to always send a thank-you email or not to the company’s representative. Some candidates have been offered interviews and later been hired just for sending a thank-you note.
Connect With People
There’s always someone that will know something that you may be oblivious to, connect with other potential job seekers and share information on what you may have noticed about a specific company.
Other job seekers may have potential leads to jobs. Share your contact information with them and try to connect with them. Approach every professional organization on the day of the fair and collect any information with regard to networking.
Career fairs generally take place annually and are held at rather large conference centers. It’s important to register in advance for these career fairs, so you’ll never miss out on such a great opportunity.
Plan and carefully set out your action plan of which companies you are going to target, and set time barriers so that you don’t overstep and miss out on other possible companies. Dress well, have a big slime, and practice your elevator pitch to impress any representative of a company.
Always be prepared to go for an interview on the spot, so make sure to do your research and remember to answer all the questions.