Job fairs are a great way to network and land interviews. With so many jobs being posted digitally, it can be nice to get out and meet some hiring managers face-to-face. This allows you to set yourself apart from all of the online applicants and leave a lasting impression.
While job fairs provide a great opportunity to meet hiring managers in person, it’s still very important to bring copies of your resume. Below, we will provide a few tips on how to make your resume stand out for a job fair.
1. Print Your Resume on Quality Paper
First and foremost, you are going to want to print your resume on high-quality paper. Go to UPS or FedEx and print 10 - 20 copies of your resume to bring to the job fair. Ask the person who works at the store what kind of paper they recommend for printing your resume. They will usually recommend a thicker type of paper. If a recruiter or hiring manager has a large stack of resumes, yours will stand out. This will only cost you a few dollars more so it is well worth the investment.
2. Add Some Color to Your Resume
In a sea of black and white resumes, a little bit of color can really help your resume stand out. We don’t recommend adding ten different colors. We also do not recommend adding colors like pink, purple, bright green, yellow, etc. The colors should be subtle, such as navy blue or mahogany. By adding some color to your resume headings, you are more likely to draw the hiring manager's attention.
3. Try to Keep the Resume to 1-Page
Normally, resumes should range from 1 to 2 pages. However, at a job fair, it is easy for two page resumes to get lost. The second page could get separated from the first page causing your resume to look incomplete. Try to summarize your skills and experience into a 1-page resume to make sure all the information you want shared is safe and sound. If you must use a 2-page resume, make sure to secure the two pages tightly and include your name and contact information on your second page header.
4. Consider Bringing Multiple Versions of Your Resume
Depending on the job fair that you are attending, it might make sense to bring multiple versions of your resume. If you are attending an accounting job fair, you will probably only need one version focused on accounting jobs. But if you are attending a job fair that will have multiple jobs and employers present, it might be good to bring multiple versions. For example, if you are interested in both sales and finance jobs, you should have a resume that is focused on sales jobs, and another resume that is targeted towards finance jobs. General resumes typically do not work as well as targeted resumes. Be prepared and research the companies that will be in attendance at the job fair before you attend.
5. Customize Your Resume for Specific Companies
One way to take your resume to the next level at a job fair is to customize a version of your resume for each company you are interested in. Most job fairs will announce what companies will be in attendance before the actual event. If you want to go above and beyond, create a version of your resume for each of the companies you are interested in. A great place to specifically mention your interest in the company is in your resume summary. You can mention something like “Passionate healthcare professional who believes in the mission of Anthem Blue Cross to improve the health of the people we serve.” By specifically calling out the company in your resume, they are going to know you are passionate about their company and their mission.
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