1. This is a networking opportunity
Not all employers at the Career Fair will be looking to fill immediate vacancies, so your mission for the day is to make contacts and gather information. Collect business cards, names and email addresses, show them you know something about their company, and let them know what you have to offer them. If you can make a good impression here today, they'll remember you when they ARE hiring!
2. Dress like you would for an interview
What you wear to the Career Fair is the most important part of making a good first impression; remember, employers are there so they can meet applicants face-to-face. Dress in clothes that are slightly above the standard you would expect to see in the workplace.
3. Be enthusiastic
Employers will usually prefer to hire someone who is enthusiastic over someone who has all the skills, but doesn't seem very interested. Introduce yourself, offer a firm handshake, smile, and show a positive attitude. Focus on your talents, your strengths, and what you have to offer them.
4. Plan your priorities for the day
The Career Fair will be very busy, and there may be line-ups at some tables, so prepare your strategy. Use our list of participating employers to identify which companies you are targeting, and plan how you want to approach them. You can give yourself the edge over other applicants by impressing them with your knowledge and preparation
5. Bring resumes targeting the employers on your list
Once you've decided which employers you would like to visit, prepare ahead of time and make sure your resume has the skills the employer is looking for. It will not be very useful to hand a resume showing your skills as a cook to a company looking to hire cleaners, for example.
6. Listen while you wait
If you find yourself waiting in line to speak with an employer, make your time count. Listen to the questions the employer is asking – this will give you time to think about your answers before you get there.
7. “Tell me about yourself.”
This is a question you might be asked by employers – it’s a standard interview question that’s used to gain insights into your skills and experience. Remember that what they are really asking is, “What can you do for me?” Keep your answer brief, and focus on employment strengths and accomplishments that will help this employer to achieve their goals.
8. Follow up after the fair
If you feel like you made a good impression on an employer, contact them within about 2 weeks of the Career Fair. Send an email or card letting them know how much you enjoyed meeting them, and restate your interest in working for them. If you see a job posting for one of the employers you talked to, mention the conversation in your cover letter or email when you apply for the job.