Its career fair season again. With the unemployment rate at a record low, career fair season could last the whole year, so it’s time to dust off that resume and brave those lineups to get that perfect job. While many people write off career fairs for finding a job, recent polls show more than 70% of personnel departments rely on job fairs to recruit employees, so it might be worth your while.

 To be successful at a career fair, you have to learn how to “work the floor.” Here are eight tips to help those prospective employers remember you in a positive light.

 1. Do Your Homework

When you see a poster for a career fair, find out which employers will be there. Use the Internet to research the companies that you want to approach so you can ask intelligent questions of the recruiters. Be prepared. Bring a pen, a note pad and stack of resumes.

 2. Arrive early

Recruiters need to stand in one spot for hours on end watching hopefuls making eye contact and show off their firm handshakes. What are your chances of impressing them if you arrive in the middle of the day, or worse, at the end of the day when they’re tired? None. Impress them when they’re still awake – when the doors open.

 3.  Dress up

First impressions are lasting ones, so treat the career fairs that you are attending like a job interview. Dress conservatively, with a winning attitude, and ready to answer probing questions.

 4.Stand out in the lineups

Some people think lineups are for other people, not for them. They butt in, thinking they have the right to make their positive impressions before anyone else. This strategy leaves a worse impression with recruiters. Rather than showing strength and determination, they see the line butter as a boob with no scruples. Use lineups as opportunities to network with other hopefuls. Talk to others to exchange job-hunting ideas, provide support, and even get leads. This will also help you relax as you approach the recruiter.


5. Be ready for an interview

Be prepared to talk about your career objectives, strengths, and interests. Tell the recruiter about your relevant skills, the kind of job you are looking for, and why you want to work for them. Finally, tell them why you would be an asset. Be concise, polite and direct because you only have a minute to make that impression.


6. Get Information

Recruiters at career fairs may not be the ones who decide. Ask how arrange a second interview, or how to contact a hiring manager. Get recruiters’ business cards.

 7. Don’t Drop the Ball: Follow Up!

Follow up soon with a thank you note that reintroduces you, your qualifications, and restates the company’s needs. Ask for a second interview. Be sure to get the recruiters’ cards and contact information. To really stand out, attach another resume

 8. Build Your Network

You should attend career fairs periodically even when you are not looking for a job. Use them to learn what opportunities are out there, and to gain a perspective on where you fit in the job marketplace. Remember, developing your career is up to you.




While many recruiters write off career fairs as inefficient, recent polls show more than 70% of human resources departments rely on career fairs to recruit employees, so it might be time to sharpen those verbal and non-verbal communication skills and get ready to greet the job seeking public. But, in spite of the name, there is nothing light hearted about career fairs. They are serious business. To be successful at a career fair, you have to be observant. Here are five tips.

 1. Do Your Homework

Use the Internet to research the companies who might attend. Try to get a table or booth in close proximity to the competition so you can keep an eye on them. Also, be prepared. Along with that stack of business cards, your company brochures, and your High Tech PowerPoint presentation, be sure to bring a pen. You’ll want to write down your first impressions on those resumes, because some of the people you meet may end up in front of your desk for a formal interview. You may also want to book some formal interviews before they get snapped up, so bring your appointment book

 2. Watch the Competition

If job hunters are lining up in front of them and missing you altogether, try to find out why. Are they offering better salaries or benefits? Does your company have an unattractive reputation?

 3. Try to Stay Awake

Manning a company booth at a career fair can be daunting – both physically and mentally. There is an endless sea of recruits eager to make eye contact with you, and to show off their firm handshakes. Be brave. It will end soon. In the meantime, try to be friendly and open to everyone. Look at their resumes and at least pretend to be interested. Give friendly advice such as, “You really should try that company over there.” As you point to the competition

 4. Watch the Line-ups

Some people think line-ups are for other people, not for them. They butt in, thinking they have the right to make their positive impressions before anyone else. As a recruiter, ask yourself if this is the type of person you want on staff. Watch the other in the line-up. Are they speaking to each other? Who is initiating the inline conversations? Are they comparing notes on job seeking – or, in other words, are they networking? Is there a place for people who network in your company?

5. Be ready for an interview

Don’t hesitate to ask, “Tell me a little about yourself,” to start an impromptu interview with interested jobseekers.  If prepared, they will tell you their career objectives, strengths, and interests. These are keepers, so book a formal interview. If they go on to tell you about their relevant skills, the kind of jobs the are looking for, and why they really want to work at your firm, reach for the contract and sign them up. If they tell you about their love life and their last skiing holiday, smile, be friendly, and send them to the competition.

 6. Early Birds

Some people will show up early – usually when you’re setting up your table. These people are from agencies that have clients that are looking for work. Keep their cards, because they will prove very useful, and will provide you with all the qualified staff you need. In fact, skip the career fair. Just come to me.


 Mike Broderick WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he FOUND employment for people with physical disabilities.
He remains an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at  or at 604-464-4105
If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates .
Apparently 22% of companies in the Greater Vancouver area will be hiring within the next month. Get your resumes ready.





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