Career Fair Tips

14 Tips for a Successful FashionCareerFair

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The StyleCareers.com FashionCareerFair for Fall of 2023 will be held on Tuesday, November 14th at 1pm ET/10am PT. Live, face-to-face interviews will be held via webcam with some of the fashion industry’s biggest brands and best companies.

While this recruiting event will be very similar to our in-person events. The way you should prepare for it is a little different but a lot the same. Divided into 3 sections, before, during and after, here are 14 Tips for a successful career fair.

Please note, we will be discussing these 14 tips in greater detail, including a live, Q&A session on Thursday, October 26th at 1pm ET, 9am PT in our latest episode of Coffee w/Chris. Register for this live event here!

BEFORE THE FAIR

Register Early
Pre-registration is a requirement for the StyleCareers.com FashionCareerFair. Why? Exhibitors are expecting to interview experienced, fashion industry professionals. Students, store-level and non-industry candidates are not allowed to attend. By pre-registering, StyleCareers.com can evaluate job seeker qualifications well in advance of the event. Ultimately, saving candidates A LOT of time the day of the career fair.

Attend the Pre-Event Webinar
Get the most out of your career fair by attending the StyleCareers.com FashionCareerFair pre-event webinar! In addition to best practices, this is a valuable opportunity to learn about the fair’s structure, the types of opportunities available, and which employers will be present. It provides essential insight into what to expect on the event day.

Do Your Homework
Research is key. Besides knowing the basics about a company, understand their products, services, recent news, and how you could contribute. Identify specific job openings that align with your skills and interests.

Note, not doing your research before an interview is the top pet peeve of fashion industry recruiters.

Check Your Tech
Test your equipment in advance. Use a desktop or laptop for the best experience. Familiarize yourself with the platform being used, and make sure your microphone and webcam are working correctly. Ensure a seamless tech experience during the fair.

Update Your Resume on StyleCareers.com and LinkedIn
Polish your StyleCareers.com profile, your resume and LinkedIn account. Correct any typos, ensure clarity, and update your website if you have one. Be ready to share these materials if requested by an employer.

Apply to Jobs Before the Fair
Applying to jobs that will be represented at the career fair through StyleCareers.com will give recruiters a “head’s up” that you are interested in their organization and open positions. Ideally, recruiters and hiring managers will be familiar with your resume BEFORE you enter their booth!

Polish Your Pitch
You only have a short time to impress recruiters at a career fair. Make sure that your personal elevator pitch is polished and practiced. With the potential of having multiple interviews in the same day, knowing what questions fashion industry recruiters ask and preparing answers ahead of time would be helpful too.

DURING THE FAIR

Maintain Eye Contact
During video sessions, remember to look into the camera. Your facial expressions are more noticeable in virtual settings. Maintain good eye contact, sit up straight, and smile naturally to show engagement.

Be Resilient
Expect the unexpected. Technical glitches, interruptions, or distractions can happen during virtual career fairs. Bounce back gracefully and maintain professionalism. It’s an opportunity for employers to see how you handle pressure and adapt to surprises.

Note, the virtual career fair platform StyleCareers.com is using for this event has a responsive and helpful chat system. Use it if you get in trouble with the tech.

Interview Them, Too
Shift your focus from just fitting the company to evaluating if it’s a good fit for you. Ask insightful questions about company culture, work-life balance, and growth opportunities. Determine if it aligns with your career goals.

Inquire About Follow-Up
Learn how employers prefer you to follow up. It could be through email, LinkedIn, or their application system. Knowing this increases your chances of getting a response.

AFTER THE FAIR

Follow Up Promptly
Within 24 hours of the fair, send a professional follow-up message. Reiterate your interest and thank them for their time. Include any attachments, like your resume or cover letter, if applicable.

Apply for Jobs Discussed
Submit your applications within 24-48 hours after the fair, and notify the recruiter that you’ve done so. Mention specific details from your conversation to show your genuine interest.

Reflect and Learn
After the fair, take some time to reflect. Consider aspects like the effectiveness of one-on-one vs. group sessions, your scheduling strategy, and how to reduce distractions. Learn from your experience to improve for future virtual career fairs.

Over the last 19 years, the StyleCareers.com FashionCareerFairs have resulted in hundreds (thousands?) of successful placements. Individual success, however, depends on careful planning, effective communication, and adaptability. By following these 14 tips, you can make the most of this event and increase your chances of landing your dream job. Remember, career fairs are not just opportunities for employers to evaluate you; they are also opportunities for you to evaluate potential employers. Good luck with your job search!

Chris Kidd is the owner of StyleCareers.com, StylePortfolios.com, StyleDispatch.com, FashionCareerFairs.com and FashionRetailCareers.com.

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