Job fairs can be a great place to network and meet prospective employers in a specific job field, but it's important to know how to navigate them in order to get the most out of job fairs and to look your best. A few simple tips about how to approach prospective employers at job fairs will help you use this networking opportunity to your best advantage.
o Register ahead of time so you can get a list of all prospective employers that will be in attendance. Make a list of the top 5 or 10 employers you want to meet with in order of importance. On the day of the job fair, follow your list and stay focused. This strategy will help you maximize your time and keep from getting distracted.
o Approach potential employers with the key information they need to know about you in order to consider you a worthwhile candidate for employment at their company. This information could include your job history, experience in the field, GPA and educational background. Staying focused on the most important information will help you make the best impression on potential employers.
o Address each company representative by name, shake their hands and look them in the eyes when speaking to them. This will help you feel and look confident and prepared.
o Take multiple copies of your current, updated resume with you to the job expo so you have one for each prospective employer you meet. Only give resumes to company representatives you've met with. They're the ones that will remember you and consider you for employment.
o The attention spans of potential employers will grow shorter as the job fair goes on. Get there early to beat the crowds and to increase your chances of company representatives remembering your name and resume.
o Instead of asking what the company does, which will make you appear uninformed, ask specific questions about the company's structure, the nature of the specific position you're interested in, and ongoing training or advancement opportunities.
o First impressions mean a lot at job fairs, so look your best. Dress professionally or at least wear so-called "business casual" attire. Iron your clothes, shave and make sure your appearance is organized, neat and clean.
o Take a business card from each booth where you leave a resume and follow up with the representative a few days later. This will keep your interview and resume fresh in their minds.