What Is a Job Fair? (Definition and Tips for Finding a Job)

Updated 10 November 2022

A job fair can be a convenient one-stop place to meet with recruiters and land a job. Many well-known companies and employers participate in a job fair, making it a great place to look for an entry-level career opportunity. Understanding how these fairs work can help you make a good impression at a career fair. In this article, we discuss what a job fair is and how to make most of your visit to one.

What Is A Job Fair?

A job fair is an event where multiple recruiters, hiring managers and employers can meet with potential employees in one convenient, neutral venue, such as a school or college. These fairs are usually managed by third-party recruitment consultants. Many companies save their time and efforts on recruiting by participating in these events. You can even attend interviews with well-known companies at a job fair.

Ways To Prepare For A Job Fair

Here are a few important steps you can take as part of your preparation before attending a career fair:

Find out the list of participating companies

In the weeks leading up to the career fair, start looking for a list of the companies that will be attending. Once you have this information, consider making your own priority of companies you want to speak with during the career fair. This way, even if you run out of time, you know you met with your top choices.

Do a little background check

Before attending a job fair, make sure you research the participating companies so that you can have a potential advantage over other candidates. Spend some time finding out the open positions that best meet your qualifications and skills. You can then tailor your resume and conversation to specifically match each company and make yourself stand out.

Have your elevator pitch ready

Come prepared with an excellent elevator pitch to make sure you have something prepared to say when you approach each recruiter at the fair. An elevator pitch is around 30 seconds to one minute. It briefly introduces yourself and tells the recruiters the most important information about you. Consider including the following items in your elevator pitch:

  • Your full name

  • College major or current job title

  • Your career aspirations

  • Why you think you are a good fit for the job

Have your important documents ready

It is important to bring several copies of your resume and also a notebook and pen with you at the job fair. If you have your own business cards, you can bring them to hand out with your resume or to any other contacts you meet during the career fair. Also carry a plain folder with separate compartments to hold your extra resumes, keep your pen and paper and store any business cards you receive.

Things To Do At A Job Fair

Here are a few steps you can take during your visit to a career fair:

Dress appropriately

Whether you are attending a regular interview or a job fair, it is important to dress appropriately and be professional. Some examples of appropriate job fair attire include:

  • A suit

  • Slacks or dress pants

  • Button-up shirt

  • Blazer

  • Tie

  • Skirt

  • Dress

  • Suit jacket

It is also important to wear a pair of comfortable shoes, as you may spend long hours on your feet in a career fair.

Meet as many recruiters as possible

Although your time at a career fair is limited, you want to talk to as many recruiters as possible. Career fairs are excellent places to network and meet with people in a variety of industries. Even if you see companies on the list that do not currently have the job position you are interested in, you can still meet with them. The recruiters you meet with might know someone in the field and they can refer you to.

Things To Do After The Job Fair

The first thing to do after the event is to follow up on any requests that you received during the event. Also, be sure to write a thank you note to anyone who provided you with the necessary information. This establishes the professionalism and communication skills of a candidate. Even if you are not interested in working with the company, you never know when you might meet the recruiter again. You want them to have nothing but positive memories of you.

Read more: How to Give an Elevator Pitch (With Examples)

What Are The Benefits Of Attending A Job Fair?

Job fairs are beneficial for both employers and candidates looking for a job. Job fairs provide candidates with opportunities to interact with recruiters and share important information. These are some of the benefits that candidates can get from attending a job fair:

  • They can find internships or future full-time opportunities.

  • They can personally meet with employers.

  • They can talk to other professionals and improve their professional network

  • They can get immediate responses from many companies at the event.

How Do Job Fairs Work?

Job fairs are events where you can discover jobs that you did not know existed. The event allows you to learn the skills you need for specific positions. Employers can also learn more about your skills and establish how you could fit in with their organisation. Human resources departments frequently use job fairs to find their next hires.

Career fairs can be large or small gatherings. Organisers set up booths for different companies in one centralised neutral venue. Employers or recruiters stay at their booth, and candidates go from booth to booth to interact with recruiters. Many employers set up their own booths for hiring individuals. During the event, candidates can ask the recruiters about their organisational culture and the application process. Many job fairs offer on-the-spot interviews where candidates secure employment instantly.

Ways To Update Your Resume For A Job Fair

Follow these tips to create a resume for job fair companies so that you can stand out and make your best impression:

  • Create a list of participating employers ahead of time and research their requirements and needs. Make sure you do your homework and have some knowledge about the background of the company.

  • Focus on your job objectives and tailor a resume accordingly. Bring multiple versions of your resume to the event. You can create a few different resumes for different companies that you have researched, but consider also preparing a general resume to keep your options open.

  • Keep your resume short and concise so an employer can scan your qualifications in less time.

  • Bring additional documents such as a professional portfolio or letters of recommendation with your resume.

Read more: Resume Format Guide (with Examples)

Tips Tor Networking At A Job Fair

Once you are at the job fair, look for companies and individuals that you have researched in advance. Pay attention to your body language and make good eye contact when speaking with a person. Also, pay attention to the conversations you have with individuals you meet during the event.

Offer your card to people you meet and ask for theirs. This helps you follow up in the future. Be confident in your conversations and deliver your elevator pitch with confidence. Let everyone you meet know who you are and what you are seeking. Show enthusiasm and excitement for the future and what you can offer.

What Is A Virtual Job Fair?

A virtual job fair is an online event where multiple recruiters, hiring managers and employers can meet with potential employees. In a virtual fair, employers and candidates looking for jobs can interact online with each other. However, the approach for a virtual job fair is similar to the traditional job fair.

Read more: How to Succeed in Your First Interview

Virtual Career Fair Tips

Different types of career fairs have different requirements and may call for unique preparations. Virtual career fairs are becoming more popular since they save companies and attendees time and money. However, since you do not meet the recruiter in person, consider preparing for a virtual career fair a little differently. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Have a PDF copy of your resume ready to submit.

  • Prepare an elevator pitch about your skills, education and future goals.

  • Dress appropriately so you are prepared for a video interview.

  • Test your internet and video connections before the virtual career fair to make sure everything works properly.

  • Have a spreadsheet or chart handy so you can easily keep track of each company and their contact information.

  • Send a thank you email to each of the recruiters you meet with to thank them for their time.


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