How to Ace Your Next Job Fair

8THIRTYFOUR Blog - How To Ace Your Next Job Fair Alayna standing at a job fair booth

As graduation looms for many students, nailing an entry-level job can be quite the challenge. We’ve picked up on a few job fair and networking trends and bundled our top tips to help you stand out at your next event. Making a memorable impression from the get-go is crucial, so you should totally listen to us.

Know Who You’re Talking To

Take some time to check out the companies there and pick the ones you’re genuinely interested in. Make a list and jot down what catches your eye about each one. Please, don’t be that person who strolls up to a booth and asks the employer to explain what they do. It’s definitely not a good look and can shut down the convo real quick. Trust me, it’s super annoying. Seriously, just avoid it.

Now, let’s be real, maybe you didn’t have a lot of time to prep, and you spot a cool company. If you don’t want to be that guy, step aside and do a quick Google search. We shouldn’t have to tell you this…cause you know, common sense. You’ll easily find a brief on what they do and a fun fact to kick things off. Speaking of which…

Make Conversation

Don’t dive right into your elevator speech of what you do, what year you are, etc. It’s close-ended and forces the other person to start the dialogue. Have a regular conversation. It can be as simple as complimenting their website, branding, asking about a campaign or project they did. The stuff about you will work its way in naturally. An organic conversation leaves an impression. Yammering out your bullet points will make your potential employer’s eyes glaze over.

In other words, be memorable.

Cards > Resumes

Employers get so many resumes at these things, all of which look the same. There is a very slim chance they will look at it and remember exactly which face and conversation went along with it. Make a card instead with a QR code to your LinkedIn,  website (don’t have one, make one), or resume. Have some fun with your branding and let your personality shine through with the color choice and design if that’s your thing.

This is an easy way to attach your photo without printing it on your resume and create quick recognition. Oh, and fill out your LinkedIn profile. If you’re a student, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but you should at least have your profile picture, school, classes, clubs, sports, and skills filled out. 

Follow Up

Here’s a secret. You could do the opposite of almost everything we just told you and salvage it (not quite; if you bomb, you bomb) with a good follow-up strategy. Make notes about the conversations you had. Connect with that person on LinkedIn and shoot them a message. If you’re a student, ask if you can come to tour the office and meet the team. Offer to grab a coffee to get to know them better or to get more career tips from them. If their company is having an event, show up and say hello. 

These might not land you a job or internship right away, but if you play your cards right, every person you meet could turn into a valuable professional connection. They often prove useful, even down the road, as long as you keep in touch.

What are you waiting for? Share this awesome post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

You won't wanna miss this.

Sign up for our newsletter!

You know you want to.