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Tips To Get the Most Out of a Career Fair

Searching for a job can be stressful. Let us help you be more successful and feel more confident before you walk through the door. Career Fairs are an excellent way to get face-to-face interaction with employers and make a strong first impression.

Below are some tips on how to get to most out of the Tulsa World, or any, Career Fair.


Dress like you would for an interview. Well dressed job seekers stand out at a career fair. Keep in mind comfort, mobility, and cleanliness.

Bring multiple copies of your resume printed, as well as a copy on a USB drive (for those companies that prefer you to fill out an online application at their booth).

Research the companies beforehand. Check out their job listings and which positions they are looking to fill. Jot down notes and questions you'd like to ask them at the fair.

Insider Tip: To really impress, research the company itself so you'll be able to speak about it. Did they sign a merger with another company? Do they have a strong commitment to community? Check your local news and the company's website for the upper hand.

Give yourself plenty of time. Plan your morning around attending the fair. Eat a good breakfast, allow for traffic and travel time, and get to the fair early.

Insider Tip: The majority of applicants attend in the morning, and if that business is hiring on the spot you may miss your chance if you get there later in the day.

Have basic supplies on hand. Bring breath mints, tissues, a notepad, a pen, business cards if you have them, samples of your work (if applicable), and a bottle of water.

Broaden your job search to include many types of employers. For example, you may not have considered working for a hospital, but hospitals recruit and hire many professionals in different fields (like IT, management, food services, etc.).

Practice talking about yourself. Most people are reluctant to talk about themselves or their achievements because they don't want to seem arrogant, self-important, or overly confident. Think about your biggest cheerleaders, what do they say about you? What do they identify as your biggest strengths and assets? Use their comments as a way to sell yourself as a candidate more naturally. For example, you could say "my co-workers have complimented me on my strong leadership skills and I think that's one of my greatest assets too."


Complimentary Bags: Pick up one of our complimentary bags to hold informational sheets you pick up from companies, store your resumes, and place personal items in so you can keep your hands free and open. 

Use your time wisely. Don't spend too much time catching up with an old friend who you bump into, or too much time at one employer's booth if your interview or conversation with them is not going well or any further than polite small talk. Career Fairs are great for networking, but are not a social function.

Introduce yourself and give your 'career pitch.' Say hello, shake their hand firmly, and look them in the eye. Tell them your name, the position you are most interested in with their company, and how you would be the best fit for that position.

Be specific and give examples when talking about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and your skill set.

Ask for the representative's card, that way you'll have it in order to follow up with more questions or to thank them later.

Jot down notes. You will meet a lot of people at a career fair, and you may not remember all the details and specifics once you leave. Taking notes allows you to keep your information and contacts straight.

Ask the representative or employer about the next steps in the hiring process. Are they hiring on the spot? Will there be a follow up interview after the fair? By asking you are showing initiative and interest, and also gaining an understanding of their timeline.

Listen to everyone around you. If you are waiting in line to speak with an employer, listen to the conversations they are having with others and let that inform your exchange. Did the employer mention a quality or skill set they are looking for that was not listed in the job listing? Did the employer let slip that the position you are waiting to discuss with them has just been filled, but another one has popped up?


Send a thank you email or note. If you got the representative's or employee's card, follow up with a brief thank you for taking the time to talk with you, answer your questions, look over your resume etc.

Insider Tip: Personalize your thank you as much as you can. If you bonded over a sports team, or if your children have the same teacher, or if you both love to cook, adding that personal detail will make you more memorable and personable.

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