Know which employers you want to connect with ahead of time and prioritize them. The participating companies should be listed on the career fair’s website and you will be given a program booklet upon entering the venue. Take a moment before the job fair to research these companies and what they produce, which job openings they are seeking to fill, and any positive news in the media about them. Come with an ample supply of resumes, enthusiasm, energy, and get ready to land that job!
What you wear is important. Job fairs are typically large events with a lot of people, and you’ll stand out by wearing a well-chosen wardrobe. If you’re not dressed professionally, that’s just one more hurdle you’ll have to overcome. Employers notice details and they can see if your wrinkled, have scuffed shoes, your skirt is too short, or you have on inappropriate jewelry. The takeaway, dress professionally.
The No. 1 complaint from employers is that candidates don’t take the time to learn about the company and its opportunities in advance. The more you know about an organization and the types of positions they hire for, the better you will come across to the employer. If you don’t have time to research every company, select the top five companies you’d like to work for and research those.
As a job seeker, you should collect as many business cards as possible and make a good first impression. When it's time to apply for an open position you can stand out by referencing that connection in your cover letter or introduction email, as well as your follow up thank you letter.
Job seekers struggle with this notion but even though an employer may take your paper resume at a job fair, that doesn’t necessarily make you a candidate. Access the job listings page and apply online after the job fair. Don’t forget to reference the conversation you had with the recruiter in your written materials (e.g. cover letter and follow-up thank you note).
Be prepared to follow up with the recruiters right after the job fair. Ask for their business cards, and send thank you emails or handwritten notes. Thank cards are cheap, but the payoff is immeasurable.