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How to Succeed at Career Fairs

Published: October 20, 2014 | Updated: October 12, 2020

Attending a career fair could be your first step towards finding the perfect job! Whether your job search is in full force or you’re just starting out, career fairs are good practice for interviews and a great opportunity to network with other professionals in your field. You may not leave the fair with a job offer in hand, but you’ll certainly have taken a positive step towards your future!

If you want to get the best results from career fairs, follow these easy steps to make the most of this great opportunity:

Prepare Before the Career Fair

Just like an interview, preparation is key. What happens before the fair can be even more important than what happens during. Why, you ask? The steps you take to prepare give you the tools and confidence you’ll need to make a positive impression on potential employers so that they’ll remember you more than any of the other applicants.

First, do your research. Become familiar with the companies that will attend the fair and make a list of the top 5 to 10 you want to visit. Find out who they are, what they do and why you might want to work for them. Be prepared to ask questions and show that you are an intelligent, well-prepared candidate who is genuinely interested.

Next, update your resume and be sure it is accurate with the most recent information about your skills and career training. Proofread, spell check, and have at least one other person review it. Print plenty of extra copies because you won’t want to run out!

Prepare and practice a short introduction about yourself and your skills that you’ll share with the fair exhibitors. That way, if you get nervous, you’ll have a go-to speech you can fall back on.

What to Do During the Career Fair

Dress to impress like you are on an interview! Review any guidelines or suggestions that may be posted on the career fair website or advertisements. Some career fairs insist on professional dress, while others will allow business casual. As always, dress like the professional you hope to become. Your future employer will only take you as seriously as you take yourself.

Behave the way you might if you were already on the job, but don’t be afraid to show your personality. The benefit of meeting employers in person is being able to highlight the parts of your personality that you couldn’t put on a piece of paper. Most importantly, show how you could be a benefit to the company. Be confident about your abilities and demonstrate what a great fit your skills are to their needs.

Follow Up After the Career Fair

Follow-up with a thank you, e-mail is usually the fastest and most effective. Be sure to express your appreciation for the time they spent with you and reiterate why you would be a good fit for a position. It’s also helpful to include a distinguishing feature about yourself or something specific you discussed. The recruiter or company representative met with many candidates and it’s helpful to refresh their memory. Also, follow through with any actions you discussed at the fair such as applying online or e-mailing your resume.


If you’re ready to get started on the path to a new career, check out all that Charter College has to offer.  We offer career training programs in growing fields including health care, business, criminal justice, information technology, and much more! Check us out today!