Tips for Attending a Career Fair
Many companies are still using a career fair as a recruiting tool to meet and recruit qualified talents. For jobseekers, career fairs are a great opportunity to go directly in front of companies that are recruiting – and to expand your professional network.
Upwardly Global offers these tips to help you get the most out of a career fair:
- Register. Many career fair organizers require you to register so please follow this rule. Often times, you will get access to list of employers who are participating in the event after you register.
- Research participating companies. Read their profiles, visit their websites, learn about their culture. You can look under “About Us”, “News”, and “Career” on their websites to get started.
- Prepare your marketing materials.Prepare and practice your elevator pitch , update your resume and prepare at least 25 copies to bring with you to the event. (If you would like to bring business cards, you can visit Vista Print and order 250 business cards for free.)
- Know how to get there. Whether you are driving or taking public transportations, make sure you do research on how to get there and if there is a parking area you can use. You don’t want to arrive late and look panicked.
- Dress professionally. First impressions last. So always dress professionally when you attend a career fair. Dress for Success and Career Gear provide free suits for job interviews.
- Arrive early. Pick up a booth map, if available, and identify which booths you want to target. Visit 2 or 3 booths that are not on your targeted list to warm up and to practice introducing and presenting yourself. Once you feel more comfortable, you can visit your targeted booths.
- Network. After you visit all of your targets, do some networking with other employers who are participating. Just because they don’t have job openings that match your qualifications at this stage, it does not mean they are not going to have them in the future.
- Ask questions. Have a list of questions to ask employers. Asking questions will show them your interests in the companies and show yourself to be someone who does her/his research.
- Leave Your Resume (and Card) with Each Company and be sure to grab each representative’s card.
- Follow Up. If an employer expressed interest in looking at your portfolio, writing samples, or Website, make sure to email or send them the requested items or links.
- Send Thank You Notes. A thank you note will set you apart from other candidates and serves as a good marketing tool to reiterate your interests and skills. Write to or email each of the people you met and thank them for their time.
About Upwardly Global: Upwardly Global, founded in 2000, is a national, award-winning nonprofit organization with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. Upwardly Global helps work-authorized, skilled immigrants rebuild their professional careers in the U.S. by providing professional job search training and access to employers with global talent needs. To date, the organization has coached 2,400 skilled immigrants and has assisted over 900 professionals back into their career field. To learn more about the organization, please visit www.upwardlyglobal.org. Upwardly Global writes for the Workforce1 Career Blog on the 4th Thursday of every month.
The views, opinions, or expressions provided by Upwardly Global do not necessarily represent the views, opinions, or expressions of the City of New York and/or the New York City Department of Small Business Services.