Job Fair Preparation 101

“Eighty percent of success is showing up,” as Woody Allen quipped, but that other twenty percent can make or break the deal — especially when it comes to job fairs.

If you just show up at a career or internship fair, chances are you’ll get nothing out of it. Preparation is critical. Here are the basic things to do beforehand to ensure optimal success:

  • Research ahead of time to see what employers will be there.
  • Single out the ones you’re interested in working with and scope them out online.
  • Check their careers page to see if they’ve got an opening for someone with your specialty. If they do, determine what specifically makes you a great match for their vacant position. Write down bullet points or keep them in mind for when you get the chance to talk to the employer representative at the job fair.
  • If they don’t currently have any online postings that look like a good fit for you, don’t let that stop you! Their website might not be updated, for one thing, and there might be other ways you can help them out. Take a look around their site and figure out how you could fit in.
  • Be ready with a Four Part Pitch for each employer rep you want to meet with at the fair: 1) specific details about the company; 2) why you’re drawn to the company; 3) how you can help them; and 4) your elevator pitch.

When you meet with the representatives that you researched in advance, you’ll be prepared to make a great first impression that will open the door to an interview — or best case scenario, lead straight to a job! On the spot hirings happen at job fairs all the time.

For more tips and tricks that will ensure that your next career fair is a success, check out this link from UMD. It includes pointers on everything from what to wear to when to arrive.

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