Job/Career Fairs – Don’t just show up…Engage!

 |  Career Connections









by Michael Morales
Talent Acquisition Specialist

I can remember my first career fair as a job seeker.  All the booths, companies, suits, free pens, etc.  For any job seeker this can be a bit much to take in at first.  Make it easier on yourself with these thoughts/ideas…

  1. Dress to Impress
  2. Engage, Engage, Engage
  3. Standout with your follow up

Dress To Impress

This is probably the easiest to handle out of this list, but yet the quickest to get you disqualified from consideration.  Companies that attend fairs literally see hundreds of job seekers a day, and could tell you with precise accuracy the select few who decided not to dress for the occasion.  Don’t be the job seeker with the graphic tee and skinny jeans!  Dress professionally.  If you don’t own a suit, at the very least wear a nice button down w/ tie and khakis.  Another great professional look would be a sweater vest over your button down shirt and tie.  Keep your shoes shined and a bright smile!  With your professional dress, you’ll increase confidence as well!

Engage, Engage, Engage

Remember why you are at the fair, to engage, network, and to land a position!  It is imperative to research what companies YOU will be targeting at the fair, and plan your attack accordingly.  Do you have time to meet all the companies?  Do you NEED to meet all the companies?  Which companies fit with your goals?  Once you have this list, take time to do your research (What representative is at the fair? What jobs are posted on their website?  What are the recent news events that happened with the company?) and make sure to engage appropriately.  It always stands out who has done their homework, and who is “winging” it.  Don’t be the latter.

Standout with your follow up

Ok.  You did it.  You dressed up, you engaged, and now it’s time to follow up.  However you are not sending a traditional email that reads something like “Mike, thank you again for taking the time to meet with me at XYZ fair.  I hope to hear from you soon.”  Put some thought into this follow up!  What will I remember about you at the fair?  What did we discuss that stood out to both of us?  Was it your love of fly fishing?  That you’re a fellow alumni of Northern Illinois?  You have a relative that works for Sundt?  Whatever it may have been, remember to include that in your call or email.  This will help continue to build our rapport and hopefully land you a new position!

Thanks and good luck in your search!