How To Prepare For A Career Fair

prepare for career fairBy Mona Abdel-Halim

As the end of the fall semester approaches, many students and employers begin to think about attending career fairs to connect with one another. These events are particularly important for college seniors graduating in December - but they're also a great way to screen candidates for your openings and network with emerging talent.

Thinking of grabbing a booth at the next career fair at your local university? Here are some tips for making the most of the opportunity:

Complete your registration carefully. Avoid misspellings and typos - and make sure to provide a list of all your openings on your careers page or the university's job board.

Set up on-time. It's often the most motivated students who arrive earliest in the day.

Be warm and inviting. Dress comfortably and come prepared to represent your company. The best way to welcome potential hires is to stand (not sit) at your booth and wear a name tag.

Attract candidates. Create a poster or a banner with your company branding. Adding candy or other giveaways is a great way to attract candidates to your table. You might also consider bringing an interactive element to your booth, such as an iPad with your website preloaded or a monitor to play a video.

Bring team members. Try to have at least two members of your team to give potential hires a feel of your company culture and the different roles in your company. This also allows you to catch candidates at all times, even when one of you needs to take a break.

Provide a list of openings. Let candidates know exactly what you're looking for by printing out a list of all your openings. If they're not a good fit, they may know someone who is.

Make it easy for candidates to apply. Let candidates know how to apply. Direct them to the university job board or your careers page and make sure the directions listed are specific and easy to follow.

Consolidate candidate information. Ask applicants to apply online even if they have a hard-copy of their resume. This ensures you have a searchable copy of their application when you're ready to compare candidates, and lest you lose the hard copy.

Have handouts. Bring business cards and handouts with information on how candidates can apply or find out more about your organization.

Be responsive. After the fair, keep all applicants up-to-date on the status of their application. Most applicants are looking to hear back within a couple days of applying to an opportunity.


What other career fair tips have worked for you?


Mona Abdel-Halim is the co-founder of Resunate.com, the world's only search engine optimizing resume builder. You can find Mona and Resunate on Facebook and Twitter.



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