Top Three Things You Must Bring To A Job Fair
By Mike Bowman   

An obvious goal of attending a job fair is to generate employment leads, meet hiring managers, and even get job interviews scheduled. Making the appropriate preparations for the job fair will help ensure you are ready. Here are a few things every job seeker should bring to a job fair:

1. Various resumes.
One resume does not fit all situations. Prior to the job fair you should create variations of your resume that highlights your experience in specific areas.

For example, let’s say you have worked as an assistant manager in a retail store. You most likely had operational, customer service, sales, and supervisory duties. Rather than listing general statements about your overall duties, create 4 different resumes, each focusing primarily on a particular skill set you have (sales, customer service, etc.). That means you will have a customized resume that focuses on your sales duties, one that focuses on your supervisory duties, etc.

Having these customized resumes readily available gives you an advantage at the job fair. If you want to apply for a job that is more sales oriented, simply hand over one of your sales resumes. If the jobs you are interested in are more operational in nature, give the recruiter a copy of that particular resume.

2. A strategy.
Aimlessly wandering from table to table with no particular plan at a job fair will most likely result in many wasted opportunities. It is rare that you get to meet with many decision makers face to face all in one location, so it is very important to have a plan in place that will allow you to maximize this opportunity. Some things that should be part of your job fair strategy include:
-Visiting every employer’s booth.
-The time you will attend.
-What you will take with you.
-How you will collect contact information for follow-ups
-Getting answers to questions you have about companies you want to work for

3. A well polished elevator speech.
Approaching someone new and breaking the ice is difficult, especially when you are eager to make a good first impression. The best way to relieve the anxiety of meeting an employer is to have talking points and a 30 second professional summary of your job experience ready to go. Write your elevator speech before the job fair and rehearse it many times in front of someone you trust to give you honest feedback. You will be glad you had all that practice when its time to walk up to each employer’s booth at the job fair.


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