Should you go to the job fair?

In the past, I have had many clients call me the day of the job fair or the day before to ask for prints of their resume or even a complete update. Since my clients now span the globe and most resumes are delivered electronically, this doesn’t happen as much as in the past. However the question still arises, “should I go to job fairs?”

The answer is … drumroll please… Maybe.

Job fairs can be another tool in the arsenal of the job seeker but only if it is used correctly. Here’s some reasons why to go to a job fair:

  1. It gives you an opportunity to get a feel for companies in your area. You can learn more about what the companies do from seeing how they present at a job fair.
  2. You can build some networking contacts both from the people representing the companies at the job fair and from people who are looking for jobs themselves.
  3. You might actually fill the bill for one of the companies and be hired.

However, at the same time, unless you follow the steps below, you could jeopardize your job search by going:

  1. Make sure your resume is ready to go with keywords and accomplishments. Not sure what that should look like? Check out fictionalized samples of my former clients here.
  2. Research companies in advance. For other tips on Preparation for Career Fairs read this.
  3. Practice your elevator speech. I wrote this to help you get some quick references to what an elevator speech is and how to write an effective one.
  4. Dress your best for the event. I don’t care what job you are seeking or what you have to do later in the day, if you look like a bum, you will not make a great first impression.

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  1. Michael Lunsford on October 17, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Great post! It’s always the question, isn’t it? Will the event be lame? Will I stand out? Will the person I need to connect with even be there? Planing is certainly important — what companies will be there? Having a solid resume is important — How does my resume for Company A need to be different than the one for Company B?

    Good stuff — Oh, and I re-read your great post on the Elevator Pitch. Describing what I do in ten minutes can be challenging, so yes, I really, really need to take another look at it.

    • Julie Walraven on November 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      Thank you, sir… 🙂 I don’t think I would worry much about different resumes at a job fair. I would just make sure the key words covered all the possible positions. However, if you would be applying to positions as diverse as for computer programmer and truck driver… there would be a need for two resumes.

  2. Michael on October 19, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Hi Julie,

    All precautions taken, I believe job fairs have their place in a job search. Any interaction opportunity of such scale is good, right? Provided that there are quality players…


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Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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