Career fairs are an excellent way to market yourself as a candidate, especially if you are job hunting in a specific industry. These events allow you to network with recruiters, connect with new companies, and set yourself apart from other candidates in your field. We’ve gathered up a few ways that you can distinguish yourself in a crowd full of other job seekers.

Determine who will be there

Same as an interview, doing your homework ahead of time is always a good idea. Read through the list of companies attending and determine which ones you’d like to approach the most. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with these companies; their mission, values, leadership team, and even open positions. Arrive prepared with questions and talking points that you can discuss with the recruiters. This will help to tailor your discussion specifically to each company and their employees.

Bring your resume

Be sure to bring multiple copies of your resume and, if possible, customized those resumes to each company you want to network with. Highlight your skills and experience that best match their hiring needs and be prepared to expand on them if asked. Pro-tip: hand your resume to the recruiter about halfway through the conversation. Handing it to them right off the bat makes it appear as if you are in a rush. However, it’s not uncommon for people to get distracted toward the end of the conversation. It’s best to wait for an genuine, organic moment halfway through.

Network, network, network

This may seem like an obvious point, but career fairs are where your networking skills should shine. When approaching a new company, be prepared with a 30-second opener or pitch, where you quickly summarize what you want them to know about you. This should include your valuable skills and how you can enhance their business practice. Friendliness and confidence are key. Recruiters will likely have a handful of questions to ask you about your prior roles and experience, so be ready to expand on projects you’ve taken the lead on and how you used effective problem-solving skills during the process.

Take action after the event

Networking leaves you with a ton of new connections, but now it’s time to use them to your benefit. It never hurts to send a quick “thank you” email to the recruiters you met with. This shows that you appreciated their time and are still eager to learn more about their company and open roles. If the recruiter advised you to apply for a certain position, do so as soon as you can. You want your name and face to still be fresh in their mind when they’re assessing applications.

Interested in working directly with a Green Key recruiter? Connect with us on LinkedIn today!