HigherEdMorning.comHow to build a better career fair

How to build a better career fair

December 7, 2010 by Jacob Hawley
Posted in: In this week's e-newsletter, Jobs, Latest News & Views, Post-college, Student Life, Uncategorized

Want to provide students with job leads, but don’t know where to start? Follow these steps.

Heather R. Huhman, president of the Come Recommended career and workplace education and consulting firm, recommends the following techniques for maximizing your career fair’s success:

Let the students run it – Contact campus organizations like the Public Relations Student Society of America to help plan and run the fair.

Set goals – Figure out ahead of time how many students and employers you hope to attend, and whether you should charge attendees (this may exclude potential participants).

Recruit volunteers – Depending on the size, you’ll probably need at least five student helpers to register students as they enter, set up and take down the room and walk the floor during the fair to answer questions.

Pick the ideal time – 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. is the block of time most likely to attract foot traffic. Consider scheduling in off-season months like November or April to avoid competing against other events.

Consider the employers –Use LinkedIn and other professional networks to create a database of nearby employers, and send invites through e-mail and snail mail. Provide free parking and food. And make it easy for employers to schedule on-campus interviews. Employers coming from hours away will appreciate the courtesy and may be more likely to return for future fairs.

Evaluate your success – How did the event measure up to the goals you set? What was the response from employers? Survey attendees and employers with polling software like Survey Monkey. The info will be useful when planning next season’s fair.

What other tips can create a successful job fair? Share your experiences below, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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