How to Make the Most of a Job Fair

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Job fairs can be a great way to meet multiple employers at once, and sometimes these fairs can help connect you with employers you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. On top of meetings with employer representatives, many job fairs also offer sessions on networking, resume drafting, and other job-search skills, so they’re well worth your time to attend. When you do go to a job fair, remember the following tips to make the most of your experience:

—Practice your pitch. Think of it as a 30-second commercial. Make sure you can break down your experience and skills quickly and effectively to maximize the value of your time with employers.

—Research companies ahead of time. You can usually find information about which companies will be attending a job fair on its website. Study these firms to identify open positions for which you might be a good fit and to learn a little general information about companies that interest you.

—Make the most of your time in line. You might spend a lot of time waiting to talk to employers. Don’t waste this opportunity! Talk to the people around you and do some networking. You might find useful leads. In addition, be sure to listen to the questions the recruiters ask the people ahead of you in line, as they’re likely to be very similar to the questions they ask you.

—Bring information to give recruiters. Carry at least 20 copies of your resume, but also arm yourself with documents like performance reviews from previous jobs, which can go a long way toward convincing a recruiter to give you an interview.

—Get business cards from the people you meet. You’ll want to follow up with many of them, so you’ll need their contact information. Even if you don’t leave the job fair with an interview, being able to address your job application to someone you’ve met can help it stand out.

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