Before the Job Fair

Prepare for the job fair like any job interview and dress appropriately

Research the companies that interest you—be prepared to explain the following in relation to the position/company: a) who you are in relation to the job(s), b) your qualifications and accomplishments, and c) one or two specific examples that demonstrate these—In a concise manner

Make a prioritized list of employers you plan to meet at the job fair—this is your target list

Bring 15-20 copies of your resume(s), pencils and a notebook—If you have more than one version of your resume, bring copies that are targeted to each company/position in which you are interested

Understand that not all companies will have open positions or be interviewing on the spot—be prepared to gather information and make connections with employers for possible future openings—also, be aware that many companies use online job applications rather than paper applications or resumes.  They may not accept resumes at the Job Fair!

During the Job Fair

Turn off your cell phone and take a few moments to focus yourself— Review floor plan to identify location of employer’s booths that are high priority for you, and to generally get a sense of who else is there

Refer to your target list and approach the employers who are available—even if this means standing aside and waiting until there’s a break in the line

Respect the employers’ time and be succinct—Also respect other people’s privacy as they complete their contact with the employer

 Smile and greet each employer with a firm handshake—take a deep breath and make eye contact as you introduce yourself

Ask the questions you have prepared and tell the employer who you are as you relate to the position—focus on learning as much as you can about what each employer is looking for in the people they hire

Do NOT ask questions about salary and benefits—salary discussion typically happens after a job offer

Stay fresh! Job fairs can be exhausting—if you start to get tired, take a break

Remember the employer’s name, get a business card and thank each employer for their time—keep a list of the employers you meet and take notes about your conversations

If there is an employer that you really connect with, on your way out, if there is an opportunity, circle back around to the employer—Thank them again for their time and reinforce your interest in the position (hint: wait until they are not swamped!)

After the Job Fair

Review your notes from the job fair—evaluate what you think went well and what you can improve for the next job fair

Write Thank You Letters to the employers you met with within 24 hours—cite something specific from your conversation at the job fair and enclose a resume for their review

Continue to research the companies that interest you—in many cases the job fair is an initial contact, not the last

Keep accurate records of your follow up activity, including dates of your letters or telephone calls, and copies of all application materials that you send