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How to Ace a Job Fair

Job fairs aren't everyone's favorite thing, but they can be a necessary evil. Whether you're in college or looking for a brand-new job, job fairs can be one of the best ways to find out about potential employers, meet people in your industry, and network with Recruiters. 

Found one you want to check out? Before you print out those resumes, read these tips for making the most of your time there.

The Path to Success: Job Fair Tips

1. Do a Trial Run

Former Artisan Talent Intern Amanda Freeman suggests anyone who has never been to a job fair go and see what one is like. "The first job fair I ever went to was to practice and to get a feel for how the event was run, what people wore, and learn how to network."

Don't wait until you are about to graduate college or are in need of a job before attending. Check them and other networking events out before you need to. "The most important part of going to a job fair is leaving a good lasting impression, you want to stand out among the other people talking to the Recruiters," Freeman says.

2. Bring Business Cards and Resumes

Create business cards for yourself even if you don't currently have a job. Printing prices have decreased dramatically so you can customize to your liking on sites like Vista Print or Moo.

Make sure business cards include:

  • Your first and last name
  • Email address
  • Phone Number
  • URL to your online portfolio or website
  • Links to any professional social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)

Don't forget to bring multiple clean and polished copies of your resume as well. Pro tip from Amanda: Buy a portfolio binder that holds pens, paper, and has pockets for your resume and business cards. "This will be more professional than holding a pad of paper and digging through your purse or pocket."

3. Dress Well

Dress like you would for an interview. Be professional. As they say, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

4. Do Your Research

The website should have a list of employers that will be in attendance. Research 3-5 of the companies that you would like to speak with and scope out the LinkedIn profiles of their hiring team.

Write down questions you may have about the company or open job positions so you won't forget them.

5. "Pack it Up"

Make your own informational packet to give to Recruiters you talk to. Include a cover letter (if applicable), a resume that is customized to the job position or company, samples of your work, and anything else you have depending on the job you are applying for. Being overly prepared will help you stand out — in a good way.

Bonus tip:

At the job fair make sure to get business cards or contact information for anyone you speak with so you can send a quick thank you afterwards or connect on LinkedIn.

Need More Help?

Check out these resources for your job hunt:

Resume Writing 101

Career Tips from Artisan Talent

A Cheat Sheet Guide to Salary Guides

Editor's Note: This post was previously published on ArtisanTalent and has been revamped for your blog reading enjoyment.

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