Career Fair Tips

Nancy Lewis...

“You want to make sure you’ve reviewed your resumé, dates and employer names so that if you’re chatting with an employer at the career fair, you’ll have the answers to their questions.”

More Career Fair Tips

  • Bring several neat copies of your resume
  • Dress for success – employers will get their first impression of you
  • Give yourself lots of time to speak to all of the employers that you are interested in

By Gerry Fraiberg

Whether you’re looking for your first job or just lost the one you’ve had for years due to downsizing, a career fair can provide a one-stop job hunting experience. With up to two-thousand job seekers, it can be a bit daunting but your day will go much better if you come prepared.

Executive Director Nancy Lewis of Meta Employment Services has some tips to help make your job hunting more productive. At the top of the list is to have really good quality resumés with you.

“If you’re interested in different jobs, you should have different resumés ready for those positions,” Lewis says. “And you’ve got to be on top of your game. You want to make sure you’ve reviewed your resumé, dates and employer names so that if you’re chatting with an employer at the career fair, you’ll have the answers to their questions. You might want to walk around the floor first to see who’s there and decide who you want to approach.”

Lewis suggests you treat the career fair like a job interview and dress appropriately for the job you’re after. She says if you’re looking for a construction job, then it’s appropriate to wear clean jeans, clean shirt and a reasonable pair of shoes. Business casual is appropriate for an office type of job.

She advises against bringing young children with you because that’s distracting, and you’re being sized up by the company representatives staffing the different tables at the job fair. In fact, Nancy recommends going on your own, even if you have a friend or spouse who is looking for a job. She states you’re there to sell yourself.

Prepare yourself with generic questions that would be appropriate for any employer such as, “What’s their hiring process?  How long do they keep applications on file?  Could you follow up at designated periods of time so you could find out if there’s any openings.”

Lewis recommends that if you get a business card from a potential employer and they accept your resumé, that you send an email or note thanking the individual for their time they took in speaking with you about the job. She notes it’s the little things that are sometimes the difference between somebody remembering you or not, and making a decision on whether to call you in.