Attending a job fair is a great way to obtain employment when job searching. You may be asking yourself, “What should I wear?” or you might be thinking, “I have no idea if I should bring anything with me.” Here are 5 steps that will help you prepare to attend a job fair, plus tips to help you stand out among other job seekers.

Dress appropriately

As they say, “You only get one chance at a first impression.” It is important to remember to dress accordingly as you will only get one chance for that lasting impression when talking with potential employers. At many job fairs, employers will conduct short interviews with candidates, so it is best to dress as you would for a formal interview. Plan what you are going to wear ahead of time to ensure that what you are wearing is comfortable, as you will be walking, standing and mingling throughout the day. When picking the perfect job fair outfit, it is important to ensure that you look professional and approachable.

Do your research

Doing your research prior to meeting future employers is a crucial step. Employers want to know that you are interested in their company. You can impress employers by referencing what you know about their company and/or industry in a brief elevator pitch. It will help your excitement shine through as you will be able to reference what you have learned thus far. Doing your research will help you stand out in a positive way and will also help boost your confidence. Also, asking the recruitment team questions is a good way to express interest.
Suggestions: Visit the company’s website and online social media platforms.

Bring multiple copies of your resume

Get employers excited about your experience by providing them with a copy of your resume. This will help express your interest while highlighting all of your great experience. Providing a resume will be helpful if you need to reference your experience in the event Recruiters have on-the-spot questions. Having a resume handy will show the potential employer that you are prepared, and it will help you make a good first impression. Be sure that your resume looks neat, professional and free of typos or unrelated information.

Verbal and nonverbal communication

When speaking with a company it is important to speak clearly and it is best to avoid using slang. You should never use profanity when speaking with a potential employer. Also, never speak negatively of a former employer when speaking with a prospective employer. Recruiters are trying to meet with as many candidates as possible at a job fair, so you want to make the most out of the time provided and ensure the conversation is positive. Fill the time you are given with how you can contribute to their company; highlight your great work experience and what you know about the company. If given the opportunity, you can share success stories from previous positions. All in all, the conversation should be friendly, positive and mature.

In addition, it is important to be mindful of your nonverbal communication. Having open body language includes greeting an individual with a handshake, making eye contact, smiling throughout the conversation and displaying good posture. Having positive verbal and nonverbal communication throughout your interactions will give employer representatives a positive takeaway from your encounter.

Final words and follow-up

When wrapping up the conversation, thank the Recruiters for their time and ask what the next step is and what to expect moving forward. Ask for their business card or contact information, and follow up with a “Thank you” letter or email.