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The Top Ten Things That Lead to a Successful Job Fair

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1)  Be kind to everyone. You never know who can lead to your next opportunity. This may seem obvious, but I have seen some inappropriateness at career fairs. While I understand finding a job can be stressful remember at least 70% of job opportunities go unlisted, according to National Public Radio, Inc. This means recruiters almost always know about unlisted job opportunities and you want them to share those with you!

2)  Do research and be prepared. For larger career fairs this is a great way to move through the event faster, so you can speak with every employer. Look each company up ahead of time, know a little about what they do and what positions they have open.

3)  Dress appropriately for your area. It is always better to be over dressed than underdressed. Different parts of the country have different expected dress codes and norms. Most career fair providers will list the expected dress code on their website when they are promoting the event.

4)  Never complain or discuss negative topics. Regardless of how comfortable you feel stay away from negative topics, complaining about your situation or any bad news. Your first impression is important when looking for a job and it isn’t worth losing a good opportunity.

5)  Make sure your resume has the correct contact information. Check your email address, phone number and name. Be sure they are correct and updated. Over the years, people have told me they get no results from a career fair only to find out they mistyped their phone number or listed an old email address.

6)  Print your resume before arriving. Be sure to have several copies. Almost all areas of the country have an employment services office where you can print resumes for free. At a career fair, your resume is like your business card. Give them out to anyone and everyone.

7)  Don’t bring a big bag into the event. You won’t need a laptop while attending the event. I have never seen anyone give a test onsite. Big purses can get in the way too. Leave these items in your car. Bring a small bag with a portfolio or file folder to carry your resumes in.

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8)  Do not discuss religion or politics. I could have grouped this with number 4, but I feel like this is important enough to have its own bullet. Regardless of the event or the venue it is not the time or the place.

9)  Follow-up with contacts you make. This is a big area of opportunity for many. Believe it or not, most people don’t follow up. If you take a business card, then send a follow up email. Do not over communicate in the email. A quick thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you with a few reminders of what you discussed is enough.

10)  Be genuine. Most importantly, finding a new job should be a fit for you as much as it should be a fit for the company. Be sure you ask questions so you can determine if you might be happy in the particular company.


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