Recruiters take notes at booths.

Job Fairs can be extremely overwhelming. It’s a frenzy of people trying to form connections and sell themselves as the perfect candidate. Time is short, and everyone there is trying to be their best selves. Knowing what to expect can help you be more prepared. Read on to make sure you get the most out of your job fair experience!

What to Expect

To begin, we’ll discuss what you can expect from the job fair. Then, after you have a better grasp on expectations, we’ll go over a few helpful tips to make sure you get the most out of the experience. Once you arrive at the fair you’ll immediately notice the fair is extremely busy. Unless you arrive right at the start time of the event, these fairs almost always are jam packed. Firstly, you should realize everyone’s time is at a premium. The recruiters are looking for candidates, and candidates are looking for jobs. Time wasted waiting in line is time that could’ve landed someone a job, so tensions can be high. You should also be wise about how you spend your time. We will cover this more thoroughly in the ‘how to’ section.

Young job candidates with resumes in hand

Dress professionally and you will stand out from the crowd.

When you arrive, you will be given a handout with the locations of all the exhibitors and companies at the fair. Keep this handy, and figure out a plan of attack. Some job fairs also offer resume writing/consulting, but not all do. As you go around to booths you will also notice something else: those dressed professionally stand out. Do this. No matter what you think the work attire will be, dress for success. You also may notice there is a line forming at some booths. Some companies do a mini-interview, which causes this backup. Be prepared to answer a few questions about yourself. Some companies also utilize meeting rooms to perform more in depth interviews on the spot. So be prepared for anything, and consider checking out our Interview Question Posts.

How to Prepare

Now that we’ve given you an idea of what to expect, you can begin preparing. Your preparations should begin well before you arrive at the job fair. A good way to start is by checking the job fair website to see who will be there. Decide which companies you want to meet with and make a list. Checking out their website and doing some research is a great idea. Also, definitely register ahead of time. This will quicken the process when you arrive. You should also plan on bringing a resume or two for each company, plus a few extras just in case you go to an unexpected booth.

Young confident businesswoman.

Be confident.

When you arrive, you will most likely be given a handout with all the exhibitors and their booth locations. This is a good way to plan out which companies you will go to based on your prepared list. It’s extremely important to remember, don’t be timid, be confident. If you have the qualifications to work for a company, just be yourself and demonstrate what you would bring to the organization. It’s okay to have a short elevator pitch prepared. This should be quick and efficient and demonstrate your value. It’s also incredibly important to be sensitive to the time and space of others. If you’re waiting in line, give those in front of you space. Trying to have a conversation with another person breathing down your neck is never comfortable, so respect the space of others! They will get to you eventually, and being polite will only win you points.

Final Reminders

Once you’re finished either interviewing, giving your elevator pitch, or handing in a resume, get contact information from the company representative and ask about next steps. This demonstrates interest and shows that you are serious about pursuing a job at the company. Once you leave the fair, consider applying online to the companies you are interested in. This way, if they lose your resume for some reason, they will still have it in some form. Also, if you made an impression at the job fair they will remember your name. We hope this helps you get prepared for your upcoming job fair, and encourage you to check out our other blogs for more advice!