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."