Career Fairs

Career Fairs and other networking events are a great way to meet a variety of employers and connect with individuals in your field. Below are some tips to help you prepare for these events and get the most out of your experience.

Networking Tips:

  • Be prepared. Know something about the organization or person you are meeting. You can find a lot of information by doing online research.
  • Think about how you are going to introduce yourself.
  • Come with at least three questions to ask and three stories to tell.
  • Bring business cards, résumés, a notepad, a pen, tissues and mints.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Arrive early and remember you are on from the minute you walk in the door.
  • Strengthen old relationships and build new ones.
  • Sit with someone new and learn their name.
  • Be confident in your approach by:
    • Having a strong handshake
    • Showing genuine interest in the other person
    • Giving eye contact
    • Respecting personal space
  • Networking is about giving before you get. Talk about things you are learning that might benefit the organization.
  • Always ask people their preferred method of communication for follow-up.

What Not To Do:

  • Suggest you have nothing to learn.
  • Be pushy.
  • Discuss salaries.
  • Suggest you have learned nothing.
  • Over-share.
  • Give the impression of being passive about your career.
  • Interrupt.
  • Speak negatively of others.

After the Event - Maintain the Connection:

  • Follow up immediately. Send a thank-you note or connect on LinkedIn within 24 hours.
  • Send an update. Let your contact know what you've been up to.
  • Share articles/news.
  • Ask a question. Continue to use your connection as a resource, even after the event or informational interview.
  • Go for coffee.
  • Offer congratulations. Did your contact recently get a promotion? Congratulate them!
  • Send a holiday greeting.
  • Make a phone call. Stay in touch!

You can also use many of these tips while participating in Virtual Career Fairs.

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