How to Navigate a Career Fair

by Candace Queen, Associate Art Director, DigitasLBi 

Career fairs can induce a barrage of emotion: excitement, anticipation, hope, anxiety, nervousness, the urge to bolt out the door. At my first career fair that’s exactly what I did, I walked in, took one look around at the organized chaos and walked right back out. It’s been some time since then, and I’ve learned a few things that have helped position me where I’m at today.

  1. Be intentional. The biggest disservice that you can do to yourself, is attend a career fair without knowing about the companies, the activities happening throughout the day or the audience that the career fair is catering to. I urge you to check out the list that AAF is providing, do some research, identify the agencies that are doing work that you admire and target those. Additionally, explore agencies that you may not be familiar with and probe the recruiters with questions.
  2. Consider volunteering. Each time I attended a career fair hosted by AAF, I volunteered. It gave me an entirely different experience compared to the times where I just showed up and pitched myself. As a volunteer you get to help behind the scenes, you’re a constant face for recruiters in need of setting up or just knowing which way the restroom is. I had longer conversations with them because I could get into the exhibition room ahead of everyone else, without distractions. By my 4th career fair, I was pretty well known and it played a huge role in being selected for my first agency internship. Continue Reading →