Working a Job Fair

At Employment Services (formerly LDS Jobs), we'll help you become gainfully employed through education and networking with local companies.

Job fairs give you opportunities to meet with representatives from many employers. The purpose of going to a job fair is not to ask for a job but to develop relationships that might lead to a job.

Before the Job Fair

Job fairs give you opportunities to meet with representatives from many employers. The purpose of going to a job fair is not to ask for a job but to develop relationships that might lead to a job.

The following tips will help you prepare so that your experience at the fair will be successful:

  1. Obtain a list of employers attending. Sponsors often have a list. Identify companies that interest you, and research their products, services, goals, needs, and open positions. If available, obtain a map of the fair to quickly locate employers you want to meet.
  2. Be prepared to talk about yourself. Discuss what you can do specifically for each company. Plan and practice a “Me in 30 Seconds” statement to advertise your skills and experiences.
  3. Bring copies of cover letters and résumés. Target your written materials to employers’ needs. To really stand out, include an objective on your résumé that states your desired position for each company of interest. Also bring résumés without company-specific objectives to give to other employers and job seekers you meet.
  4. Prepare open-ended questions to ask representatives. Demonstrate your interest and knowledge in their organization by asking relevant questions. Here are a few common yet important examples:
  • I am very interested in the _________ position because __________. Can you tell me more about this position?
  • What do you look for in candidates? What key skills or experiences are highly desirable?
  • What tips for success could you give me for getting hired in this field?
Note: Do not ask about salary, benefits, or anything else that may seem self-interested. Keep the focus on the job and the company, not on yourself.
  1. Dress to impress. Don’t overlook the importance of making a good first impression. Dress should be professional. Find out what the dress standard is for the position you seek and dress accordingly.

During the Fair

  1. View other job seekers as valuable networking contacts, not as competition. For help making the most of opportunities to network, see “Effective Networking.”
  2. Expect lines, and respect others’ privacy by waiting your turn. Use the time spent in line to network with other job seekers.
  3. When meeting representatives, give firm handshakes, maintain good eye contact, and smile. Try to remain calm and collected. Maintain a positive attitude, and ask questions.
  4. Address the representative appropriately. Introduce yourself with your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement, tell why you are attending the fair, indicate your interest in the organization, and present your résumé. Remember that although representatives may seem to be conversational, informative, and friendly, they are making an evaluation of you for their list of potential candidates.
  5. Ask the open-ended questions you prepared beforehand. Avoid questions that focus too much on you.
  6. Ask for a business card, and be sure to take brochures, fact sheets, and any other relevant information the company offers.
  7. Take a few minutes after each meeting to write down notes about the position, the company, and the representative. These notes will serve as a reminder later when you follow up and write thank-you letters.

After the Fair

  1. Write thank-you letters. This will reaffirm your interest, and it gives you an opportunity to highlight your strengths that meet the employer’s specific needs.
  2. Follow up to ask about the position’s status. Ask if you might schedule an on-site interview. Keep in mind anything the company representative may have said about how and when to follow up.
  3. Send another copy of a cover letter and résumé to each employer. Companies receive a large volume of résumés at the fair. Sending another copy will help them easily find your information if they want to arrange an interview.
  4. One of the most important steps of working a job fair is to organize all the material you received. By keeping information organized, you can find everything you need easily when new information develops.

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