Job fairs are a great opportunity to get in front of many prospective employers in a short period of time. However, when you have such a fleeting timeframe, you need to be on the top of your networking game to make great connections.
It’s important to also keep in mind that you’re not the only prospective candidate looking for a great opportunity. We’re sharing a few ways you can make a great impression and master the next job fair. Try out these 6 tips:
Do Your Research
Attending a job fair starts before you get there. Take some time before you attend to do a little background on any prospective employers that will be there so you have a leg up on the competition. Take a few notes for yourself and even prep a question or two for your top picks so you can kick your conversation off on a notable foot.
Firm Up Your Elevator Pitch
Job fairs are kind of like speed dating, you have a limited time to make a good impression on a potential employer. That means you need to be able to seal the deal fast. This is where your elevator pitch comes in.
Not sure how to write an elevator pitch? We have you covered with our step-by-step guide.
Heading to a networking event prepared means dressing the part. Make sure you dress for success, choose a business casual outfit that isn’t too formal but shows that you mean business. Leave the jeans and graphic tee at home.
It’s also a great idea to print off some business cards with your name, school, program (including your graduation date), and contact information including email and phone number. Make sure your email is professional, otherwise your school email will do.
Lastly, it’s helpful to bring along a print out of your resume or two. Note that most companies won’t want a resume during a job fair (unless the job fair specifically says to bring a resume along), but if someone asks, you don’t want to be caught off guard.
Make a Great First Impression
Because career fairs are extremely quick interactions for meeting potential employers, it’s important to focus on making a good impression. Beyond making sure you’re presentable, there are a few things you’ll want to do:
- Introduce yourself by name
- Repeat the name of any connection you meet back to them to ensure you got it correctly and to subtly imply that you’re a good listener
- Use a firm handshake
- Make eye contact
Making a good impression is incredibly important. Your goal is to project confidence while sharing a bit about yourself and demonstrating your interest in their organization.
Need some more tips on making a good impression? We’ve got some tips and tricks here.
Brush Up On Your Networking Skills
Networking is both an acquired and learned skill, and can we say artwork. There’s a balance to be made between sharing information about yourself and connecting with someone else. So, when it comes to attending a job fair, it’s highly recommended that you brush up on your networking skills.
Great pre-networking includes setting networking goals for yourself and practicing potential answers. Doing your research on attendees before you go and preparing resumes and business cards will also help ensure your networking skills are top-notch.
Need a networking refresher? Here are some great tips to help you through the day.
The main purpose of a job fair is to help you make connections. But those connections are only as good as you make them. If you make a new connection and never do anything with it, then it’s not much of a connection.
So, when you make a new connection at a career fair it’s important that you follow up. The best way to follow up is to connect on LinkedIn. Once you’re connected on LinkedIn, send a quick “it was nice to meet you” note.
Alternatively, you can send a quick email—make sure to grab a business card for each person you meet (and hand them one of yours!).
With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to show off your best self during the next career fair. If you’re looking to go a step further, take a look at TalentEgg’s newest profile feature where you can not only upload your resume, but you can record a short video pitch of yourself. Connect with employers without having to leave the comfort of your couch!