Five Ways to Stand Out at a Career Fair

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How can you stand out at a career fair?

Career fairs present a short window of time to create an impression — for both you and the recruiter. In addition to dressing professionally and bringing copies of your resume, here are five additional ways to stand out at your next career fair.

1. Plan Ahead and Prioritize Employers

Find out which companies will be at the fair, and map out which ones you want to pay a visit to first. You may not get the chance to visit them all if lines are long or if your conversations last longer than expected.

2. Research Job Openings Ahead of Time

See if your favorite exhibiting employers have any jobs that interest you. Make a list of questions that you would like answered. This is your chance to speak directly to that company’s representative in an effort to make a good impression and land an interview. Research company contact names, career paths, the number of people in a certain department, or anything that’s not spelled out in their job postings.

3. Build Up and Maintain Your Energy

Get a good night’s sleep. Being alert and on top of your game will impress recruiters and help your establish a positive rapport. If it’s a mid- to late-afternoon event, grab a bite to eat beforehand to keep your blood sugar and energy levels from dropping. Just don’t forget to keep some breath mints on hand.

4. Network Your Way In

Perhaps a former colleague works in the same department your vying for. Ask that former colleague ahead of time what the company culture is like. Then, during your conversation with the recruiter, highlight your strengths that resonate with their culture. Mention your colleague as a reference (assuming you’ve checked with them first).

5. Keep Conversations Moving in a Positive Direction

Once a recruiter has answered all your questions, wrap things up, thank them for their time and information, and move on to the next employer’s booth. Demonstrate your consideration by trying not to monopolize a recruiter’s time while other attendees are waiting behind you. Good manners make an impression.

Job searching is a job in itself. If you treat a career fair as a precursor to an interview and follow the above tips, you’ll be more likely to catch the right opportunities at the right time.

JobsInTheUS Career Fairs

For more than 20 years we’ve provided job seekers with real, quality jobs online. With our popular Career Fairs, we also bring you the opportunity to meet face-to-face with recruiters from some of the best companies in your area. For the most up-to-date list of upcoming events, visit our events page.