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Job fairs can be an excellent tool to use as part of your job/internship search. However, they can also be overwhelming and unproductive if you haven’t prepared and developed a strategy. Following are tips to help you succeed at a job fair. Preparation Strategies for the Day of the Fair 1. Dress Appropriately – Dress simply and professionally. Navy, black, grey or tan suits are the most acceptable. Avoid any distracting items including large jewelry or over-powering cologne/perfume. Leave coats, bags or bulky purses in the car and bring in only a folder with your supporting documents. 2. Develop Your Game Plan – Arrive early and pick up a map with the layout of the organizations. Use your prioritized list and begin by visiting with a few that are lower on your list as a way to warm up and familiarize yourself with the environment. 3. Keep Notes – You will meet with many people and it is easy to confuse the information. Take a minute after each meeting to jot down some basic notes including the name of the person you talked with and the items which you discussed. Are you still interested in them or will you drop them from your list? Is there any follow-up work you need to do? The best feature of a job fair is that it provides the chance for you to make contact with dozens of employers in a few hours. Remember that this is not only an opportunity for you to sell yourself but it is a chance for you to screen potential employers. 43 job fair tips 1. Resume – Have your resume updated and reviewed so that it is ready for distribution. Make sure you don’t leave this until the night before the fair because it takes several drafts to make a resume informative, eye-catching and error free. 2. One-Minute Introduction (Elevator Pitch) – Create a one-minute introduction to use when you meet employers. This should include your name, major, college, year in school and a few selling points about your skills and interests. Practice a firm handshake and an articulate, enthusiastic introduction. 3. Supporting Documents – Prepare and bring copies of your resume, reference list, transcripts and any additional supporting materials to distribute to employers. Keep the material in a nice folder or portfolio. 4. Research Organizations – Most job fairs will list the organizations that plan to participate in the job fair. Research those that sound interesting or those that you don’t know much about. Prioritize the organizations you would like to visit and write questions that you would like to ask of these organizations. 5. Preparing for an Interview – Some companies will choose to interview you on the spot or during the job fair so you will want to practice your interview skills ahead of time. Consider participating in a mock interview through Career Services. Job Search Handbook Tips for a Successful Job Fair