Careers & Education

What to take to job fairs

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The right preparation can make all the difference at job fairs
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Get the most out of a every opportunity by knowing what to take to job fairs

With unemployment at near record highs, people are looking for any way to get a foot in the door.  Job fairs are one of the easiest ways to make contact with a number of employers in a short time.

But just showing up for a job fair won't guarantee you a new position.  Of course your skills and experience matter.  But what you bring to job fairs also makes a big difference in your chance of finding a fresh start with a new company.

Here are the things you need to bring to the next job fair to have the best chance at landing a job.

Lots of copies of your resume

Don't underestimate the number of resumes you need to bring to job fairs.  Not only do you want to give one to each potential employer, but some companies will request you leave multiple copies.

If necessary, leave extra copies of your current resume in the car, so you can get them when you run out. 

But whatever you do, don't make the mistake of one job hunter I met.  He brought only one copy of his resume, saying he did not want to waste paper on resumes until he had an interview.  He thought seeing his resume would be enough to get him an interview, but his attempt at being green failed to garner him any job offers. 

An up-to-date listing of your references

Potential employers who request a copy of your resume may also wish to have you complete an application.  And that means you'll need the names, addresses and telephone numbers of your references.

Be sure you've checked with people before you list them as references, by the way.  Nothing's worse than having a reference caught off guard or one who doesn't remember your work.

A letter binder or pocket folder

Be sure to bring something to collect and organize information you gather.  Sometimes plastic bags are provided, but thatís a good way to go home with crumpled applications and mismatched business cards.

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