Are you going to a job fair? Use this checklist to make sure that you bring everything you need to impress the employers participating in career fairs and job fairs.
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The first impression you make on a prospective employer is the one that matters, that's why it's important to dress appropriately when attending a job fair. If it's a professional job fair, dress up. For a summer or seasonal job fair, business casual attire is appropriate. Wear the same attire that you would for a job interview.
Bring a Friend
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If you're nervous about attending a job fair by yourself, bring a friend. A friend can provide moral support and, even if they aren't actively job searching, they may discover career opportunities that end up being of interest.
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Have personalized business cards made or create them yourself using a free template available for Microsoft Word users. Include your name, phone number, and email address so it's easy for recruiters to get in touch with you.
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You need to bring a 30 second (or a bit longer) elevator pitch that is a quick synopsis of your background. Your elevator speech should be brief - no longer than 30 to 60 seconds - the time it takes to ride a elevator, hence the name.
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A portfolio is a great way to stay organized at job fairs. Bring a portfolio with extra copies of your resume, a list of references
, business cards, and questions you have for the recruiters at the fair. Use it, as well, to store the business cards you pick up from participating employers.
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A mini resume is optional, but it's a nice way to showcase your candidacy. A mini resume contains a brief summary of your career highlights and qualifications, which can be printed on the back of a standard sized business card.
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Not sure where the job fair will be held? How about parking? Use Google Maps or Mapquest to get directions if you're not sure where you are going. Program your GPS, if you have one, so you can find the best route to the fair. Check on parking and/or public transportation ahead of time and give yourself extra time to get there.
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Taking the time to say thank you to the recruiters you met at the fair is not only good etiquette. Your thank you notes or email messages also serve as a reminder of who you are to a recruiter who may have met many candidates at the fair. Ask the recruiters for business cards, so it's easy to follow up.
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What can you do to compete with the crowds attending job fairs? These tips will help you get ready to attend and maximize your opportunities while you're there.