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How To Maximize Career Fair Opportunities

by Beverly Aarons 3. February 2012 08:22

Effectively participating in career fairs takes more than just showing up.  Job seekers who maximize the benefits of career fair events combine certain planning activities and strategies.  Let’s take a look at a few tips:

Before The Career Fair

  1. Research.  Find out which employers are attending, whether you want to work with them and whether or not they are hiring. Don’t assume that a company attending a career fair is ready to hire immediately, that’s not necessarily the case.
  2. Make a list and don’t spread yourself too thin.  Choose a few companies to target and prioritize them with your favorite picks on top.  Once again, do your research on these companies. Are they financially sound? Are they looking for someone like you? Are they hiring now?
  3. Create your strategy.  Your strategy will depend on the structure on the career fair and the amount of time you’re willing to invest in it.  Can you schedule interviews with companies in advance?  How much time do you want to commit to working the career fair booths? 

During The Career Fair

  1. Starting with your priority companies begin rubbing shoulders with representatives.  Have questions already formulated; but don’t interrogate anyone. Try to keep the conversation natural and mutually enjoyable.
  2. Don’t overstay your welcome. If an employer or recruiter is sending the signal that they are not interested or busy, don’t linger.
  3. Be prepared. Have copies of your resume and business cards available for those who request it.

After The Career Fair

Follow-up is key to career fair success.  It’s not likely you will receive a job offer on the spot (sometimes it does happen) so you need to follow-up with contacts and interviewers. 



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