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Job fairs are an effective means for prospecting jobs, networking with other professionals in your industry and actively interviewing for open positions within organizations that attend these types of events. If you attend a career fair, there are several things you may bring with you to increase your chances of being noticed by and making a lasting impression on potential employers. For instance, resumes and business cards are among some of these items that you may come prepared with if a recruiter requests more information about you.
What to bring with you to a job fair
When taking part in a job fair, there are several items that you may consider bringing with you to help you present yourself to recruiters and hiring managers. The following list outlines a few things that you may want to take with you to your career fair so you can provide required documents and information if a hiring manager or prospective recruiter requests it:
- Extra copies of your resume
- Targeted resumes
- Business cards
- Your professional portfolio
- Notepad or paper and pens
- An extra change of clothes
- Application preparation materials
- Your elevator speech
Extra copies of your resume
When you attend the career fair, one of the most important items you should have with you is your resume. This can be a general resume that outlines your work experience, educational background and your skills. A general resume will serve as a way for you to highlight your overall experience and skills, and you may leave a more generalized resume with a company of interest, especially if your target position is not an open job. This way, you can express your interest in the company and offer your information for future contact if your ideal role opens up.
Related: 7 Items To Bring To a Job Interview
While it is important to bring extra copies of your resume, bringing copies of targeted resumes can increase your chances of getting noticed by the organization you are interested in applying to. Targeted resumes will highlight only your work and educational history, skills and experience relevant to a specific role. Consider having a few of these targeted resumes, so you may provide a copy if you meet with a recruiter for the position you want.
If you have dedicated business cards, you may consider bringing them to the job fair. Your cards should have your full name, phone number and email address or other contact information, and you can even include a job title, a brief mission statement or another qualifying description on your business card.
As you move through the career fair, you can distribute your business card to companies of interest and companies you are interested in but have no open positions that fit your qualifications. You can explain the job role you are looking for and ask to keep in contact if something should open. The prospective employer will then have your contact information should a job open up.
Your professional portfolio
If you have a professional portfolio, consider bringing it with you. Portfolios are especially effective and useful to have if you work in an industry where you create a variety of visual products, as you can show prospective recruiters and hiring managers how you have succeeded in your past roles. Your portfolio can highlight your hard and soft skills in completing projects. You may also consider keeping only pieces of professional evidence in your portfolio relevant to the career roles you are seeking.
Notepad or paper and pens
Think about bringing a notepad or small notebook and a few extra pens with you to your job fair. When attending interviews within the career fair, you may consider taking quick notes after each session to help you remember who you spoke with, what company they were from and highlights from the interview such as salary information, job requirements and contact information for the hiring managers you met or can follow up with.
An extra change of clothes
If you are local to the career fair you are attending, you may not need to be concerned over bringing extra business attire. However, if you are traveling a long distance to the event, consider bringing one extra change of business clothing with you. It could be helpful if you spill coffee on your clean and pressed white shirt or in case of a tear or troublesome zipper. Preparing your attire ahead of time can allow you to take precautions in case something soils your formal clothing.
Application preparation materials
You may have researched prospective job positions you are interested in interviewing for, but consider preparing yourself for job roles that might come up that you might want to apply for. Have any information ready that you might need when filling out a job application.
For instance, keep a list of references and their contact information, and names, phone numbers and other contact information for past employers. Likewise, you may have references included in your resume, and you can use that information as needed if you fill out applications during the career fair.
Your elevator speech
An elevator speech, or elevator pitch, is a quick and direct way to introduce yourself, your career objective and how you can meet the requirements for the job. Because career fairs tend to be large events with many attendant businesses, recruiters and prospective employers, practicing your pitch can allow you to be fully prepared for what you will say when you sit down to speak with prospective employers. Practice how you will introduce yourself and make a lasting impression so you can make your pitch in under 60 seconds.
“8 Things to Bring to a Job Fair.” Indeed Career Guide, 3 Dec. 2021, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/things-to-bring-to-a-job-fair.Tags: Assessing and Cleaning Up Your Online Presence Before Job Hunting, Temp Staffing of Indiana, What You Should Always Bring to a Job Interview