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How to Prepare for a Career Fair

There’s much more to attending career fairs than just walking into the room. There’s a level of preparation that must come before going between the booths dressed in your Sunday finest. Potential employers are going to be watching you move around and examine how you interact with everyone else there. They will be assessing the skills laid out on your resume, and deciding if you are worth calling back for an interview based on what they see. Determine how to best prepare for career fairs before marking the date down in your schedule.

Dress for Success

One of the most important things is dressing for the success of course. The problem is that overdoing it – are underdoing it – ruins your chances of succeeding. If you’re looking to work as a laborer, then it would be bad to show up dressed in a suit and tie. On the other hand, if you want to be a professional you shouldn’t wear something that would be considered less than corporate casual. Whether suit – if justified – with clean shoes. Hygiene is vital no matter what position you are after so be sure to keep your skin and hair clean, and that you have brushed your teeth (or at least chewed something minty) before entering the room.

Practice Networking before the Career Fair

Practice your networking skills with friends before attending the career fair. Pretend you don’t know them and work on putting together some questions you can ask people when approaching them for the first time. Get some confidence in your abilities by approaching individuals that are always happy to help like retail workers and fast-food workers. Ask them some challenging questions, or just something simple like asking the guy at the burger place if they can make you a pizza. Most people are incredibly afraid of having someone respond negatively to them. Setting out to get a negative response is a great way to overcome that barrier. Remember that employers will be observing how you interact with people, so you need to maintain an air of professionalism, even if you were to run into someone that you are friends with outside of the office.

Polish Your Resume

Your resume needs to be perfect, it should have no grammatical errors spelling errors. One of the most common mistakes people make when hunting for a job is filling each page with as much information as possible. Human resource professionals are handed hundreds of resumes during a career fair, so yours should be easy on their eyes. There are no rules set in stone about how long a resume should be, so focus on putting down your skills rather than the length of the resume. If you need a professional looking resume there are some great resume templates out there.

Practice Interview Question

Be prepared to answer a challenging interview question at the drop of a hat. Practice with another professional before going to the career fair and ask them to treat you like it was the first time you had met. Go through the most common and difficult interview questions before attending the fair, and ensure that you have an answer for every question.

When preparing for a career fair you want to build up your self-confidence when networking. Be sure to stand up straight and keep your shoulders back, with your arms down by your side and your hands out of your pockets. Keep in mind that you want to leave a lasting positive impression, and be as professional and confident as you can when walking between booths and shaking hands with employers.

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