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From registration to Interview: How Candidates can Rock Recruiting Events

Our purpose at Career Fair Plus (CF+) is to help event organizers improve outcomes for their job seekers. We listen to employer and candidate feedback to continually improve our recruiting technology.

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In the beginning...

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Four former college and university recruiters launched Career Fair Plus (CF+) in 2012 to enhance employer and job seeker interactions during in-person recruiting events with proprietary technology. Since then, millions of applicants have connected with tens of thousands of employers during dozens of different types of recruiting programs.

We’re pursuing the same mission today: help event organizers improve outcomes for their job seekers by applying employer and candidate feedback to continually innovate our recruiting platform.


When it's all about the candidates...

Depending on when you started your job search, in-person or hybrid recruiting might be a new experience. Or, you're returning to the workforce after years away and navigating virtual conversations with potential employers for the first time. Read through these five sections for insights to boost your confidence and enhance engagements.




What are the differences between in-person, virtual, and hybrid recruiting events?

Aside from the obvious differences of meeting face-to-face, online, or both, your preparations might vary with each format. Of course, you need an updated resume for any job search, but you'll likely need nicely printed copies for in-person or hybrid recruiting events. 

Additionally, unlike virtual events, talking with recruiters at on-site programs usually means waiting in long lines. Unfortunately, you might not even connect, depending on when you join the line.


Pro Tip: if your event host is using CF+ software with Meetings and Resume Drop, you can pre-schedule 1:1 time with recruiters and connect before, during, and after the event!


Virtual recruiting events avoid this problem by offering chats, group information sessions, or 1:1 meetings. They also provide the opportunity to literally dress "up." Plenty of candidates look professional from the waist up with their lucky sweatpants or torn blue jeans, offering some calming vibes off-camera. 

Finally, hybrid events, as you can guess, blend on-site with virtual programming although specific structures vary. CF+ customers have three hybrid options:

  • Different Days -- Participants choose to attend the virtual day, the in-person day, or both.
  • Same Day-Different Times -- Virtual and in-person events occur on the same day but do not overlap. Attendees choose to participate virtually, in-person, or both.
  • Same Day-Same Time -- One day where participants choose to attend virtually, in-person or both.

Along with the different engagement format, your job search might take you to career fairs, hiring events, and other types of recruiting programs.


Who hosts which type of recruiting events?

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For example, career fairs allow job seekers to talk with employers, learn about future opportunities, and attend webinars or seminars related to different career paths. Employers host or participate in hiring fairs to extend job offers during or, very soon after the event. 
And because not all job seekers are college students, there are various programs connecting them to potential employers, too.

View CF+ Hybrid Recruiting eGuide Page 10




envelopevectorWhat are the benefits of attending recruiting programs?

There are multiple advantages of participating in recruiting events, some you’ll notice immediately, and others you’ll realize over time:

  1. Increasing your comfort level speaking and interviewing with potential employers
  2. Practicing how to showcase your personal brand
  3. Discovering career opportunities that fit your experience and goals
  4. Gathering deeper information about your target employers
  5. Building your professional network
  6. Expanding your industry knowledge during employer-sponsored information sessions
  7. Getting a job (or internship)!


Also helpful:

5 Things to Know Before You Attend a Job Fair

The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Prepare For a Career Fair


in-personHow do I get the most from a recruiting event?

Excellent question; we're glad you asked! OK, we asked it, but you were probably wondering. Some of these suggestions come together quickly, while others take a little extra thought and energy: 


  1. Bring a current resume: even if it's posted online somewhere, you want to be responsive if someone requests a copy!
  2. Know your “story,” practice sharing it, and accept feedback with an open mind.
  3. Develop that 15-second elevator pitch or positioning statement to show off your differentiators. Thinking of it as an intentionally-crafted MadLib might help:
    1. Hi.  I’m _____, and I love _____. I’m looking to_____ by _____. 
      Example: “Hi, I’m Alex, and I think books are magical. I want to help grow early readers by teaching kindergarteners.”
    2. I’m _____which means I ____ to ________.
      Example: “I’m naturally curious and attentive, which means I gather unusual information to help frame a fresh message within an appropriate context for your industry.”
    3. Hi, I’m _________ and I have experience as a _______. I used my skills in _____ to make an impact on _____. 
      Example: “Hi, I’m Anne and I have experience as a rocket scientist where I used my skills to build rockets that landed regular people on the moon 50% sooner than projected.”
    4. Follow up with a question to get the conversation started:
      Examples: What can you tell me about the opportunities at your company? 
      What can you tell me about the opportunities at your company?
      What projects would someone in this position work on?
      What are you looking for in candidates for this position?
  4. Have a practical, meaningful, and concise answer for the request to “Tell me about yourself.” For example, highlight your work strengths (“My supervisor commends my attention to detail.”) and share something to pique their interest (“I started building computers in middle school.”)
  5. Dress appropriately. Check out employee pictures on your target companies’ websites for some guidance.
  6. Research the history, mission, value statements, careers page, social media pages, products/services, and/or goals of your target employers.
  7. Plan whom you want to talk to and what you’ll say to them.
  8. Look for professional development opportunities such as internships or company-sponsored webinars.
  9. If it’s a virtual fair or a technology-enhanced on-site fair, pre-register, complete your profile, and upload your resume early so employers know you’re attending.
  10. Memorize your response(s) when they ask you, “Do you have any questions?”
  11. Have a doable follow-up plan ready to launch as soon as the event ends.

Also helpful:

Job Fair Tips That Actually Work


smileyIconCongrats, you landed an interview! Now what?

All your hard work and practice answering questions paid off. Way to go! Time to shift mental gears from maximizing recruiting events to rocking the interview. But, good news! It's a faster, easier shift than you might think.

Not surprisingly, interviewing best practices are similar to how you get the most from career fairs or recruiting events: prepare, practice, present, and follow through. 


Review and refresh your resume again, especially if you can add new experiences since the recruiting event where you met company representatives. Similarly, take another look at your elevator pitch and personal story. Do you want, or need, to change anything? Now's the perfect time to revise.  



Call a friend or clean off a mirror but get ready to share your career highlights and elevator pitch again. If someone’s helping you rehearse, ask them about your eye contact, facial expressions, and overall body language. Do you appear welcoming and confident, or are you looking around the room while you talk?



It's interview time! Trust your knowledge, passion for the work, and all that practice to share why you're their best choice. Answer questions confidently and directly, then ask two or three of your own. Be polite. Sure, that seems obvious, but it's easy to forget "please" and "thank you" in new situations. Be honest, and remember the correct spelling and job title of your interviewer(s) for the next step.


Follow Through

Send a handwritten thank you note to each interviewer and, if possible, the HR person who organized the day. Compose the note yourself or personalize a sample you find online. Because many people decide this step is old-fashioned, the candidates who make an effort often stand out.  

Interviewing is stressful, but preparation and the right support can decrease anxiety and increase your chances of success. Check out the CF+ article, Be Prepared: Behavioral Questions, for more tips and encouragement!


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