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How to Land a Job at a Career Fair

Here’s how to prepare ahead of time, ace the interview and follow up

Career fairs can be intimidating. 

Hundreds of people are searching for their next job. Making a good impression to a dream employer can feel daunting. But take a deep breath — companies want to meet you. Their representatives are excited to review your education, skills and experience. 
They’re bringing recruiters, hiring managers, and ambassadors to talk to you. 

Our recruiters Kristy and Morgan help match talent to our U.S.-based roles. Here are their tips:

How should I prepare?
Kristy: Research employers and tailor your resume. Look at your target company’s career section online and use words and job titles that are common. Have different versions of your resume on hand, as well as a generic version for opportunities that emerge during the career fair. Upload your information in advance, if pre-registration is available. 
Morgan: Prepare as you would a job interview: Bring answers to interview questions and speak to real life experiences. Research common interview questions.

How do I approach an employer at a career fair? 
Kristy: Create a set of questions to ask each employer. Be courteous when you walk up and make sure you have the recruiter’s attention. Introduce yourself. Show that you’ve researched the company and go through some of the positions you’ve seen in your research. Ask what roles are available now. 
Morgan: 
Prepare a quick blurb about yourself and how your talents and interests relate to the company. Show that you’ve done your research. Be confident about yourself.

What should I wear? 
Kristy: Companies and recruiters evaluate the way a person is dressed. Ultimately, your personal presentation will be a representation of the company where you work. While your clothes may represent an aspect of your individuality, consider your attire in context with the company you are interested in joining.
Morgan: Research the company. Many corporate websites show examples of employees at work. You should try to mirror what examples are shown as acceptable attire.

Should I take the free swag? 

Kristy: Yes! The swag is meant as a conversation starter and a branded reminder of why the company is going to be important to your life. It’s our gift to you for stopping by. 

How should I follow up?
Kristy: 
Get a business card from the company representative to follow up. E-mail a thank you note or stand out by sending a hand-written thank you. Later in the interview process, you can send a connection request on LinkedIn. 

What else should I do?
Morgan: Go through the list of companies. Don’t just judge on brand recognition. Review the company’s vision, mission, and values to see if the guiding principles are in keeping with your own. Be open to unexpected opportunities.