How to Make a Winning Game Plan for Job Fairs

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Job fairs. They’re something that a lot of college graduates are familiar with. Companies and organizations flock to campuses in order to mine the next generation of raw talent. Its like talent scouts have set up shop for a couple hours and are looking for the best and the brightest. They’re putting together a team, an A-Team if you will. However, with the hectic schedules most college students have, the chances of a grad actually having attended a job fair is slim. Even less of a possibility is being prepared for a job fair. Here is a quick game plan of how to not only be ready for a job fair but to make recruiters chase you around like you have free drink tickets pinned to your shirt.

Dress sharp- One of the biggest flaws with job fairs is that they either happen with insufficient notice given by the college or occur during the busiest parts off the day. Who has time to drop by when you’re booked in class all day? This leads to most job seekers coming to these fairs in a simple t-shirt and jeans. While comfortable this style doesn’t exactly scream ‘hire me’. If you are actually going to attend a job fair make sure you give the impression that you didn’t just stumble across it on your way back to your room. Look professional to catch the eye of recruiters.

Research- Job fairs are noisy, busy and crowded affairs that can be overwhelming to the unprepared. Plus, most fair attendees don’t have time to hang out all day and find out who has a booth set up. You got better things to do than have your ear talked off by representatives from paper companies, like pass your finals and graduate. Do a little planning beforehand and find out what companies are going to be working this fair. For all you know, there might not even be anyone of interest there. Save yourself the time and hassle and research if any potential employer you want to shack up will be there.

Bring resume and cover letter- As simple as it sounds; job fairs often catch people unprepared. Walking through and talking with recruiters is fine but if you don’t have a cover letter and resume handy you might as well just have not attended. These documents act as calling cards. Recruiters are shaking hands with dozens, maybe hundreds, of students that day and will likely only remember those who had a CV to hand over. Make sure you also bring plenty of copies of both. As luck will have it, you’ll run out just when you get to talk to the most promising job recruiter.

This guide is just trying to save you some time. A lot of hopefuls come to job fairs unprepared and are just wasting their time. They would be better off preparing for next month’s fair or searching online than showing up dumfounded. Don’t let the same happen to you.

Any job fair horror stories? Successes? Sound off in the comment section.

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