Locate Job and Career Fairs Near You

A job fair or career fair can be an excellent opportunity to find out information about hiring companies and available job positions. Read below on how job fairs work, how to prepare, what to expect from job fairs, and how to locate job fairs in your area.

When you are looking into job or career options, one of your greatest resources is a job fair or a career fair. A job fair is filled with companies who wish to provide information about their company, promote open positions and set up interviews with prospective employees. Moreover, it is an exceptional venue for establishing professional relationships and formulating networks. As these types of fairs provide significant opportunities for job and career seekers, you may be interested in learning about how job fairs work, how to prepare properly for job fairs, what to expect, and how to locate job fairs in your area. 

How Do Job Fairs Work?

If you are thinking about attending a job fair, it is important to understand how they work. There are different types of job fairs such as college or university job fairs, government job fairs, or specialized industry job fairs. Companies may even have their own job fairs, especially if they are relatively large, to showcase their various departments and job openings. 

While there are many types of job fairs, they typically have the same structure and work in similar ways. The traditional career fair set-up displays booths, each for a different company or recruiter, in one large room or hall. Employers will stay at their booths for the duration of the event, prepared to promote their company and have in-depth discussions with interested parties. When you arrive, you can navigate to the various booths to ask questions and promote yourself as an ideal candidate for hire.

In 2020, there was a great shift of physical spaces to virtual set ups; in like manner, many career fairs became web based. It is likely that this trend will continue strongly for many years as they offer many advantages over traditional job fairs such as saving time and increasing attendance. With virtual job fairs, you can simply access the platform and look through each company’s virtual display and information. You will then connect with a recruiter or representative via audio or video calling, chat message features, or text. 

What To Bring to A Job Fair? 

Whether you are attending a physical or virtual career fair, you should be adequately prepared to speak with recruiters and representatives. Although job fairs are not interview spots customarily, they are places where you will make your first impression. Reasonably, if you show up prepared, a company is more likely to view you as a competent candidate. 

The most important materials to bring to a job fair include:

  • Copies of a Strong Résumé: Every individual headed to a job fair should have many copies of their well-organized, error-free résumé in hand. You will be able to give these to companies after you have spoken with the representatives. 
  • Portfolio: If you are interested in a career path that may require a showcase of your best work, such as software development or art, you should bring along your portfolio to show representatives who are interested in viewing it. 
  • Elevator Speech: An elevator pitch is a short, concise pitch highlighting your prominent skills and experience. It is an excellent idea to prepare and memorize an elevator speech prior to visiting a job fair. It allows you to present yourself in the best manner towards a company. 
  • Research: If you could explore and research the companies that will be at the job fair prior to the event, it can give you a great advantage. 
  • Pens: Many companies will have job application forms that you can fill out right at the job fair. Accordingly, it is important to bring proper writing materials. 
  • Professional Bag: If you wish to take any informational packages, promotional booklets, or business cards a recruiter or representative may give to you during the event, it is beneficial to have a place to put them all safely. 

What To Wear to A Job Fair?

If you are attending a traditional job fair or engaging in a video call during a virtual event, dressing in proper attire is key in presenting yourself in the best manner possible. In general, you should opt for conservative business attire such as a two-piece suit, minimal accessories, and closed-toe shoes. You should strive for a clean, simple, polished, and organized look. If the job fair is specialized towards a certain industry, such as law, you may wish to dress more formally such as with a three-piece suit or an appropriate dress. Moreover, if you are traveling long-distance to reach the job fair, it may be a wise idea to pack a change of clothes in case of an accidental spill or stain.

What To Expect At A Job Fair?

At a job fair, you can expect that every employer or company will have set up a booth or display that you can visit and learn more about the company and available job positions or career opportunities. You can use this chance to speak with a recruiter about your own knowledge, skills, and experience and about why you would be a good fit with their company. Additionally, you may be able to fill out a job application or give them your résumé. Ultimately, you should expect to walk away from the job fair with knowledge and insight into job availability, and potential job interviews. 

How To Locate a Job Fair?

Since job and career fairs can be such an excellent way to break into the job market or a specific industry, you may be curious about how you can locate a job fair in your area. There are several ways you can find out about local job fairs:

  • Check local bulletins, newspapers, newsletters, and magazines for announcements

  • Speak with a school job assistance center

  • Check with the department head or secretary of a specific university discipline 

  • Ask your local community center or local employment center

Now that you are equipped with essential knowledge about job fairs and career fairs, you will be able to prepare adequately for an upcoming job fair in your area. In this way, you will increase your chances at interviewing and securing a job or career that you will enjoy.