Attending career fairs can be overwhelming and standing out in a room full of hundreds of other job seekers is no easy task. Competing with other job seekers all vying for the attention of the same recruiters and employers, it’s crucial to show up prepared, ready to face the day, and knowing what it takes to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
This guide to standing out and giving a great impression at a career fair covers the essentials - from getting ready for the event to making a great impression and following up afterward. Following these tips can get you through the next stages of the screening process and on your way to landing a job in no time.
Before the event
Prepare for the career fair
Research the participating companies before attending a career fair. You should know at least a little about them before showing up. You will be able to ask intelligent questions and get better information if you already have some background on them to work with. Use the information you could gather to tailor your resume to the companies and, if possible, to the vacant job you are interested in. This will boost your confidence to answer the recruiter’s questions and you will stand out as a serious applicant, improving your chance at acing your interviews.
Dress for success
Pretend that the career fair is your first interview for your dream job. As with any interview, it is important to dress professionally. This increases your chance at impressing the recruiters. Giving them a good impression of yourself shows your confidence as well as respect for both the job and the company, and encourages the recruiters to hire you. Additionally, dress in something that is comfortable and makes you feel confident. Remember, first impressions are very important. How you dress speaks volumes about you.
Arrive early and formulate your game plan
Career fairs generally attract a lot of applicants. Getting to the venue early affords you the chance to be among the first to undergo the recruitment process, edging out the competition. You will also be noticeable as there are not yet many people, gaining yourself a good chance that the recruiters will remember you. You will also have plenty of time to go around and plan out whom you will speak to first, improving your chance that you will get the job you want.
During the event
Treat the career fair like a regular job interview
During the career fair, you will be judged according to certain criteria. That is the beginning of the hiring process. To move forward to the next steps, you have to stand out. Put your best foot forward, just like in a regular job interview, to get noticed in a good way. That involves being attentive, eager, sincere, and respectful.
Deliver your elevator pitch
To make a good impression, prepare an elevator pitch to introduce yourself in the best way possible. An elevator pitch is a short spiel (usually 30-seconds to three-minutes long) about why you are the best candidate for the job. Include your name, major, career aspirations and how they all tie in to working for the company you would target. The better you prepare your elevator pitch, the more clearly and confidently you can explain why you are the best candidate for the job.
Asking the right questions shows you have put thought into the company and are interested in learning as much about it as possible. But ought to get information that cannot be found online if possible. For example, ask questions about the company's culture and work environment. This will help determine if the job will be a good fit for your personality, which helps ensure you can work for the company well. Also, showing eagerness to learn proves your desire to land the job.
After the event
Get contact information and follow up
Ask for contact details before leaving to stay in touch with the recruiters. You will leave them with an even better impression of yourself by following up after the career fair, like sending a follow-up note. You will stand out from other applicants even more. Not only does it show your sincerity, but it also proves that you really want the job.
Your success at a career fair is all about the impression you make. Leave an impression that you are best candidate for the job with these tips to stand out and make a great impression.
Career fairs are a great way to meet the right people to get your name out in the marketplace when looking for a job. iSupport Worldwide is always on the look-out for high-potential candidates to join our team. We regularly hold career fairs in search of new talents and recruits. Avail of the opportunity to work for a company with a unique culture, where hard work is richly rewarded, allowing each employee to reach their fullest potential.