Whether you're in still in college or you've already graduated, attending career fairs can be so beneficial. They provide an opportunity to network with recruiters from a variety of companies and they give you a chance to practice your interviewing skills. When you attend a career fair, you'll want to dress professionally and have all of your career-related materials with you and ready to hand out.
If you're planning on going to a career fair in the future, I put together a list of six things you should bring with you so you can be fully prepared!
You definitely need to bring copies of your resume to a career fair. Make sure you print off several copies. Before you hit print, proofread your resume and make sure that everything is formatted correctly. Check your name, contact information, titles and sections where you list your experience.
2. Professional looking notebook, binder or portfolio
You don't want to be handing out wrinkled resumes, do you? That wouldn't look good, so do yourself a favor and buy a notebook or binder to take with you with pockets to store copies of your resume, a notebook, a pen and business cards.
3. Business cards (if you have personal ones)
This is optional, but if you have personal or generic business cards with your name and contact information, it might not be a bad idea to hand those out along with your resume.
4. A nice looking purse or tote bag
A lot of recruiters at career fairs hand out "swag" or other knick knacks. Stress balls, pens, sticky note pads, magnets, you name it! After collecting lots of items, you'll definitely want to have some place to keep everything. I suggest bringing a tote bag along with you. You can keep all of your goodies inside it and even store your notebook or binder in it while you're waiting in line so you don't have to be holding it all the time.
5. A bottle of water
Depending on how long you're at the career fair, you may start to get a little thirsty. Between talking to recruiters and other attendees, you'll be glad to have something to sip on in case your mouth gets dry. Keep a bottle of water in your bag and make sure to screw the cap on tightly each time you're finished. You definitely don't want water to spill over your resumes or the inside of your purse.
6. A smile
When you attend a career fair, be friendly to everyone you meet! Flash a smile to those you pass as you walk around and be polite when speaking with recruiters. After you're finished speaking with someone, be sure to shake their hand and thank them for their time. Being friendly and kind goes a long way. As long as you're confident and you put your best foot forward, you'll be sure to impress anyone you meet.
What is your best advice for someone who might be going to a career fair soon? Do you take anything with you that wasn't mentioned in this list? I'd love to hear, so leave a comment below and let me know.