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What should I dress for a career fair?

My school is going to be having those throughout the year and what are some things I should wear? What should I be prepared to do, what should I bring? #career #jobs

Thank you comment icon DRESS PROFESSIONAL WOMEN - PANTSUIT OR SKIRT & BLOUSE, MEN - SUIT OR SLACKS WITH BUTTON DOWN SHIRT Penny

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Kris’s Answer

Wow! I remember my first career fair in college. The time flew by, and I learned a ton.

What to Wear
As others have stated, dress in professional business attire. Even though you might be interviewing with more casual companies, there will be a huge mix of corporate cultures. When in doubt, it is best to be more formal than casual.

How to Prepare
Obtain a list of all the companies that will be there. I would then prioritize based on your interests. You will only have so much time, and much of that time might be waiting to speak with a representative. Do your research of your top choices. Remember - you are deciding whether you want to go forward in the hiring process with this company. Keep it a two-way and natural conversation. Be yourself!

What to Bring
Definitely bring a bunch of resumes. For your top companies, I would also customize your resume slightly and potentially include a letter. Here are some quick ways to do that: [customize your resume for the most important submissions](https://www.intelivate.com/career-strategy/build-brilliant-resume-part-5-design-customize-submit)

After the Career Fair
If you are given a business card, it is always good to send a quick thank you note and reiterate your interest in the company. So many people forget to do this in the mass rush that happens at career fairs.

Good luck and if you need anything, let me know! Let us know how it goes.

Kris
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Liza’s Answer

My advice to you is as follows:


-- The main objective of your clothing is to look professional. You have options on what to wear. You could wear a suit, if not a purchased together suit, then pants or skirt, nice blouse and a jacket. Also you could wear a dress with or without a jacket or even a pair of dress pants or skirt and a blouse.


-- As far a what to do/bring, I would have an up to date resume. Most importantly though, is to spend the time preparing your "elevator" pitch, a short summary used to quickly and simply define a you and your value proposition. This should be 60-90 seconds where you share who you are and why a recruiter or interviewer wants to spend more time with you. Try to include the item(s) that make you uniquely you and most qualified for the job.


Best of luck!

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Shawn’s Answer

Career fairs are always great. The idea of what to wear focuses around 2 areas: Being yourself and looking professional.


Being Yourself and Looking Great
At a career fair, you want to focus the attention and convey to the people you meet who you are and how you can best represent their organization. I've attended a few career fairs dressed in a full suit, with a tie, and I found it made me feel a bit restricted because it wasn't 100% me. I'm laid back and that's not always conveyed in a full suit. Then I scaled it back a bit, still wore a nice suit, but wore a nice polo shirt underneath, or a dress shirt with one or two buttons open. I felt more like myself, and I wowed the companies in response. So, dress nice, nothing too short, too tight or too revealing. Dress like you're going to a nice dinner with the family.


As far as what you want to bring to a career fair, it's all about gathering attention. Depending on your field decide what you can provide that will be your mark. Always bring resumes. Also, carry a flash drive that has your resume on it. If you have any letters of recommendation from professors or staff, take a copy of that as well. Personally I like to come with a complete portfolio. If there 100 companies attending the career fair, I try to narrow down to the 10-15 I want to work for. Those are the ones I provide the complete portfolio, and if you know what companies are there, right a brief letter stating how you can help that organization be successful. At the end of the day organizations are looking for people to make them better. What better way to start than with the first introduction.

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Karina’s Answer

Hi,

The industry dress code to be followed for career fairs is wearing the 'Business Professional aka Full Business aka Formal Business' attire. What it means is:
1) Clothes should be solid, dark or neutral colors
2) Light colors can be worn underneath
3) No stripes or bright colors or bright prints
4) The color of your suit/jacket (whichever you are using) should be the same as that of your pants/skirt (whichever you are using). This means that a black suit/jacket with black pants/skirt works.
5) Shoes should be closed-toe heel or dress shoes

P.S.: This dress code can be followed for job interviews, professional networking and presentation events, business meetings, formal celebratory occasions as well.

Hope this helps!!!
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Adam’s Answer

I would say dress for the job you want, not the job you have!
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Terence’s Answer

It's a career fair where you're potentially trying to find a job or make a professional connection. You are essentially trying to make a good impression to the extent that the people you're meeting could picture working with you. That means presenting yourself in a pleasant, confident manner. Conversational, but also succinct and on topic. I'd say this is most critical.

What you wear matters to a point, in that you want to make a good impression. As someone that has hired a lot and attended a decent number of career fairs (as a prospect and moreso as a hiring manager), I wouldn't say a suit+tie, or pantsuit/skirt are required. You do want to look nice, but I understand that you're a student, you may not have a suit or formal work wear. Or if you're working and attending a career fair, you may not have time/resources to show up in a suit.

It'd be ok by me if you came across as professional, pleasant to talk to, and confident in yourself.
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Ken’s Answer

Here are some good tips that will help you prepare for your career fair:


https://www.themuse.com/tags/career-fairs

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