Job & Career Fair Tips

Networking events - such as career and job fairs - are high impact and incredibly efficient ways to:

  • Expand your professional network
  • Increase linkages between what you are studying and the world of work
  • Learn about different industries and occupations
  • Understand the employment landscape
  • Identify who you would most like to work for
  • Generate immediate or future job opportunities
  • Get a job
Career Fair vs. Job Fair

Often, the term “career fair” is used for an event that is focused on helping participants learn more about careers, career paths, and the world of work.  

Meanwhile, the term “job fair” usually means that participating employers are focused on recruiting new employees, and participants are actively seeking employment opportunities.  

Job fairs can still be used by participants to learn about employers, job openings, and careers of interest.  Employers will be very glad to meet prospective employees, even if you are not actively engaged in a job search. However, be sure to let those looking for work get priority access to participating employers.

How to Prepare

Before the Fair: 

  • Update and print copies of your resume, which are relevant to the types of jobs you are looking for.
  • Develop and practice your elevator speech.
  • Research the employers you are most interested in.
  • Prepare questions to ask employers – including industry and business-specific ones.
  • Consider how you might adapt yourelevator” pitch to suit different employers.
  • Pick out your outfit (and iron it). Gather the necessary accessories and outerwear too.
  • Keep yourself organized by bringing a bag, folder, and/or notepad to the event.

During the job recruitment event: 

  • Allow yourself to be curious about the employers and opportunities, and be yourself. 
  • Connect with less high-stake employers first, in order to get your bearings and warm up a bit. 
  • Pay attention to what peaks your interest and learn as much as you can. 
  • Gather business cards and other materials from the employers you are interested in. 
  • Write down notes, in between visits to employers, if that will be helpful. 

After the event: 

  • Get organized:
    • Add notes to any contact information you gathered, for future reference. 
    • Create a system to organize and file contact information and career/job documents.
    • If applicable, add job application deadlines to your calendar.
  • Make every effort to apply for jobs early, since some employers start hiring before their application deadline. 
  • Take a little time to reflect: What interested you most? What did you learn? What are your new questions? What are some next steps – i.e. that you can write down (in your calendar) and follow up on? 
  • If you are not applying to a job, consider following up with a thank you note to the employers that interest you – ideally within 24-48 hours (just like you would after a job/internship interview).

Articles and guides to complement the list above:

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  1. Go to the Career Readiness Workshops & Events web page 
  2. Refer to the GCC Events Calendar.
  3. Research and attend networking events offered by:
    • The Chamber of Commerce
    • Relevant professional associations
  4. Research the employers you are curious about by going to their website and looking for press releases.
    • Identify 3 or more employers you are interested in.
    • Go to their websites to:
      • See if there is a web page where events are listed. If so, bookmark it, and revisit the page regularly. Attend events, when possible and appropriate.
      • Sign-up to receive their newsletter(s), if that is an option.