How to Stand Out at Career Fairs

by
CollegeXpress Student Writer, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jun   2017

Tue

13

The upcoming fall semester is the perfect time to start the search for a job. Whether it’s an on-campus or off-campus position, there are multiple ways to make yourself stand out at a career fair. These tips range from sharpening your résumé to dressing professionally—all of which will catch an employer’s eye!

Personalize your résumé

Employers are so used to seeing white Word documents. By adding some color or detail, your résumé will catch the attention of any employer. This step is especially helpful for those majoring in the arts, including Photography, Graphic Design, or Art Therapy. Websites like Canva and Vizualize provide their users with multiple templates and layouts that allow you to create a visually pleasing résumé. And Vizualize lets you connect directly to your LinkedIn profile (what a plus!).

Ask questions

When visiting tables at a job fair, it is crucial to ask questions. It lets a recruiter know you are interested in their organization. It is also important to avoid asking simple yes or no questions— this will cut your conversations and networking time short. Instead, make sure to research the organization before the fair and ask thoughful inquiries about the company or specific positions you are interested in. The Balance has composed a great, lengthy list of open-ended questions.

Dress to impress

Unless stated otherwise, it is usually required to dress business casual or in interview attire. Although you don’t have to wear a blazer and dress pants, it would help you stand out as a professional student. In addition to your outfit, make sure to bring a folder or clipboard and pen to jot down notes when interacting with employers. By dressing up for job fairs, employers will recognize that you take this seriously and have the potential for working in a business or office setting.

Confidence is key

By researching the organizations or companies and having a list of questions, you will come across as confident and driven. Not only will this show employers you are enthusiastic and actively searching for a job, but it will also highlight that you are confident in your skills and abilities.

Thank-yous

Treat the job fair like an interview and always thank the recruiters you met and had a connection with. Typically, recruiters will give out their contact information to students to answer any questions they may have after the fair. By sending a simple thank-you e-mail, the recruiter will know you are interested in their positions and company. This will also help you stand out as a personable and polite candidate for hiring. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to connect with recruiters via LinkedIn—especially if you had a long conversation and a strong networking connection.

Hopefully these tips will help you conquer your school’s next job fair. Now grab your résumé and get hired!

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About Christiane Townsend

Through her experience of living internationally throughout her childhood, Christi has firsthand knowledge of other countries, cultures, and religions. Currently a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she has been able to use her writing both in an academic and leisurely setting to spread cultural acceptance, awareness, and growth. Christi believes in educating others on topics such as feminism, travel, college life, and striving for excellence, which is depicted through her writing.

 
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