Job Fair Tips for First-Timers!

After the incredible response recently…

…from my original post and follow-up project on Resume Tips for ALL Job Seekers, I put together some thoughts on Job Fairs, specifically for first-timers.

The most important thing to remember: Job Fairs are marathons, not sprints!

Ok, so they aren’t really running races BUT there are a lot of similarities between these two and so a lot of the same mentalities and processes can be used.

Here are my Job Fair Tips for First-Timers!

job fair tips for first timers kit consulting

Here is a bit more on each of these points:

  1. It’s important to feel good, not just look good
    1. wear comfortable and work appropriate shoes
      1. no sneakers for fashion, no stilettos* for line runners
        • *I highly recommend avoiding super high heels, even if you wear them all the time.
    2. wear comfortable and work appropriate clothes
      1. Consider carefully the jacket/blazer
        • often these fairs are HOT and HUMID and if you have a jacket, you may regret it or end up not wearing it
      2. Power dresses are a great choice for women
        • wear dark tights
      3. Button downs and slacks are a great choice for men
        • make sure
    3. bring a water bottle and snacks
      1. paying for water is the worst, bring a bottle you can refill for free
      2. snacks will help you avoid getting “hangry”
        • bonus points: bring extras and make friends!
    4. if you wear makeup, bring enough to touch it up if needed
      1. don’t over apply…the lights in these can be garish at times, your contour will look flat
    5. if you wear contacts, bring supplies and backup glasses
  2. It’s less about YOU and more about THEM
    1. do your research
      1. find out what companies will be there
        1. bonus points: find out what recruiters will be there
      2. find out what types of added benefits are included
        1. some include free lunch, free headshots, free resume coaching, etc
          1. if these require advance sign-up, SIGN UP!
      3. make a plan!
        1. decide who you want to see, and see them first.
        2. decide what you want to do, and do that first
    2. create your talking points
      1. elevator pitches for
        1. your background
  3. Early birds get the best worms
    1. get there before the crowds do
      1. if it opens at 10am, get there at 9am so you can park easily and not rush over to a long line
      2. go with a friend
        1. it’s sometimes intimidating to be alone in a large crowd
        2. if you have someone there to pump you up between chats, all the better
    2. show up with your list of priorities and stick to it
      1. don’t be tempted by the lure of shorter lines or better swag: this is about 1 thing…
  4. Focus on your next steps
    1. your main goals are to get the card/contact info of the recruiter you spoke with
    2. your next steps will be
      1. contact the recruiter thanking them for their time at the fair
        1. bonus points if you can include an authentic follow up question related to your chat
      2. a request for an informational interview, especially if you are a student: be sure take advantage of this!
      3. learn as much as you can about:
        1. the companies you felt connected to
        2. the available positions that inspire you
        3. the skills needed to be hired into an entry-level role

I’d love to hear more about what YOU think: comment below!

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