Job fairs offer the opportunity to impress a prospective employer in person. The secret to success at a job fair is to stand out from the competition. However, coming across as arrogant or cliché can be a mistake. A better approach is to find a creative way to make sure that the recruiters remember you for a particular characteristic.
The majority of students or participants will be well qualified and capable. Charisma and originality can differentiate you. Practice professional communication skills. Channel your nervous adrenaline into intelligent conversation. If you can enjoy the experience of meeting new people, it will show. Look people in the eye and smile. Listen to their questions and think before you respond. Emily Bennington of Careerealism offers some useful tips that can help you to impress recruiters.
Decide which companies you want to approach and create a game plan for each.
Research each company and the representatives if you can find out their names. Find a connection and, when you approach a company representative, refer to that connection. For example, a company might be conducting a project in an area that you know well or have a partnership with a firm that you have worked with.
Dress impeccably and carry copies of your resume in a portfolio. Bennington, writing for US News, recommends preparing business or networking cards. Have an elevator pitch ready to go and rehearse your responses to typical interview questions.
Don’t ask basic questions that you can answer from a website.
Be creative in your questions and show that you researched the company thoroughly. Frame a question by first showing your knowledge and experience. For example, “I interned at company X last year. How would you compare their growth potential with that of your company?”
Practice good etiquette.
Shake hands when you meet people and when you leave them. Gather the business cards of those whom you meet and follow up with a thank you email that confirms your interest in the work of the company. Refer to a particular part of your conversation with the representative so that the person can easily recall you.