How to Stand Out at a Career Fair

Career fairs, the perfect place to find the job of your dreams — alongside several hundred other eager job seekers. What can you do to prevent your face from blending in with the other candidates that visited the table? Make yourself stand out to the recruiters!

Be Prepared

Standing out at a career fair starts before you even get to the fair. Begin by researching the companies that will be attending and see which ones you are interested in speaking with. Resources like Handshake offer this information to students and you can be extremely useful for certain events, such as the Accounting and Finance Fair. Gather specific information about what the company does, the position you are interested in, and make a list of questions you may want to ask. Being prepared allows you to ask specific questions and impress the recruiters.

Dress for Success

You’ve probably heard this tip many times but that doesn’t make it less relevant — dress your best. If you show up in ripped jeans and sneakers, you will make an impression, but it will be the wrong one. Dress in your best business professional clothes for the fair to show you’re serious about the position. Additionally, feel free to do something to stand out in the crowd, wear a purple tie or a fun pair of shoes, and just remember to keep it professional.

Start and End Strong

Begin your conversation with a firm handshake and a smile. Not only does this make a good impression but it also helps you stand out from people who didn’t. Be sure to introduce yourself and remember to use the recruiter’s name. Using their name will create a more personal connection between the two of you. End your conversation with another firm handshake to help you really stand out.

Follow up

There’s a good chance that the recruiters you connected with talked to several other candidates after you left their table. Follow up with them after the fact to help ensure they remember you. Make sure you get their business card so you are able to get in contact with the. Following up via email is the most common. Include your name, the fair you attended, and a personal message in the email. Try to do this within 24 – 48 hours of the career fair. If you want, a thank you card can also be a way to follow up.  This is a more personal way to follow up and can make you more memorable. This may not be  appropriate in all situations, so make sure to gauge the situation.

Standing out at a career fair can make a huge difference when it comes to who gets an interview. Sometimes your skills and experience may not be enough, be sure to make a great first impression. For more tips on how to have a successful career visit https://career.nichols.edu/blog.

By Liz DeNoncour
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