How many career fairs have you attended and thought, “this is a big waste of my time?” You dressed for success only to have a recruiter ask you to apply online. It’s true, career fairs can be a waste of time—unless you take the right approach. Here are four helpful tips to make it a success.
The number one way to approach a career fair is to think of it as a big networking opportunity. You could meet many of the people you have wanted to connect with on LinkedIn. If you approach it with the plan to meet new people, instead of landing a position right away, you will be extremely happy with the outcome.
Before attending a career fair, take note of all the companies that will be in attendance as well as the names of people representing the organizations. Use this information to study up on the company and do some research via LinkedIn beforehand. You and the company representative might know someone in common, which you can use to your advantage to make a quick connection. Regardless, the more information you have the better prepared you will be.
Prepare your “elevator pitch.” Have your 30 second speech prepared and practice it many times. Make sure to introduce yourself and let the recruiter do the same before launching into your pitch. Being too aggressive and not letting the recruiter have a chance to speak can backfire and leave you in a negative light.
After meeting with each person make sure you take notes and get their business card. When you get home, connect with them on LinkedIn so you can stay in touch for future openings and send them a thank you, making sure to touch key points you had discussed.
Keep in mind that this is a great way to grow your network and give you the opportunity to meet people, who can help you land your dream role. Dress for success, have fresh copies of your resume available, and be ready to connect!