Top 10 Tips for Attending Career and Job Fairs
Have a pen/pencil and paper available for notes.
Bring resumes and a folder or portfolio to hold your materials.
Take the time to find out what companies will be represented before the day of the career fair.
Research information about the participating companies and organizations prior to approaching the recruiters. Use the Internet, news sources and career fair materials to learn about the companies' booths you plan to visit. You can impress a recruiter by knowing about his or her company and can discuss its current situation.
Use time wisely. Determine where employers are located and in what order to visit them. Focus on three companies that you are truly interested in.
Broaden your focus and include many types of employers. For instance, you may not have considered working for a hospital, but hospitals recruit and hire professionals in many different fields (e.g., management, information systems, or health care).
Be aware of time demands on employers. Do not monopolize an employer's time. Ask specific questions and offer to follow up after the fair, as appropriate.
Be direct. Introduce yourself, including your name and career interests. If you are job-seeking, state the type of position in which you are interested. If you are gathering information, let employers know that you are only interested in materials and information. Remember to use good eye contact and a firm handshake. Career fairs are the perfect place to use your elevator speech.
Make sure you learn from the recruiter employment and/or hiring trends, skills necessary for different jobs, current openings, salary, benefits, training, and other information about the organization. Also make sure you know whom to contact for follow-up discussions.
Ask the employer for the next steps in the recruitment process and try to obtain the recruiter's business card for follow-up discussions/correspondence.