If you're on the hunt for a new job, attending a career fair can be a great use of your time. You get the opportunity to find out which companies have openings, meet some of the hiring managers responsible for filling positions, tout your skills and accomplishments, and network with other job seekers who are in the same boat you are. Consider these career fair do's and don’ts to make sure you're conducting yourself appropriately.
Do: Bring Your Resume
Show up to any career fair with several copies of your updated resume in hand. Make sure your resume is customized for the type of position you're seeking, and stick to a format that is clean, simple and professional. Ask friends, family or colleagues to review your resume prior to the career fair, and listen to their feedback.
Don't: Bring Your Friends
It's not a good idea to show up to a career fair with a group of friends. Think of the event as a series of brief job interviews. Come solo to show the hiring managers that you're confident and enthusiastic about finding a position.
Do: Sell Yourself
A career fair presents the opportunity for you to introduce yourself to a lot of influential people in your industry, so it's important that you have an elevator pitch ready to go. In a 30-second speech, tell who you are, what you want to do and what skills you bring to the table. Practice your pitch for several days before the big event.
Don't: Ask a Lot of Questions
The majority of your time at a career fair should be spent meeting hiring managers and telling them about your skills, accomplishments and qualifications. You shouldn't spend the whole time asking questions. If you want to know about the organization's mission, products or benefits, do your research prior to the event.
Do: Dress for Success
This is not the time for casual attire. Dress for a career fair like you're dressing for a job interview. Choose a business professional wardrobe; stick with a solid-colored suit and polished shoes. Make sure your hair is neat, nails are clean, and cologne or perfume is minimal.
Don't: Fade Into the Background
This is your chance to shine and set yourself apart from other job seekers. Resist your instinct to blend in with the crowd. Make your presence known by circulating to meet various hiring managers and presenting a professional image.
A career fair is a great way to get your name, face and resume out there. By rubbing elbows with the hiring decision-makers at some of the top companies in your industry and networking with other job seekers, you may be on the fast track to getting the job offer of your dreams. Study these career fair do's and don'ts to make sure you're making the most of the opportunity.
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