Your Job Fair Portfolio
Following are some of the items you will need to bring with you to the job fair.
Yes, you are required to bring one. And it better be an outstanding one because at the end of the day it is often difficult for recruiters to sort out the bad from the good. Bring at least one copy of your resume for each employer you plan to speak with, plus several extra copies. This is a good time to use soft-colored pastel paper to stand out in the sea of whites and ivories. If you have multiple job objectives, bring multiple resumes with each objective covered separately. And do not bring a cover letter—you are the cover letter to your resume.
Letters of Recommendation
Make copies of your top three letters of recommendation multiplied by the number of employers with which you plan to meet. Make sure all of the employers you are interested in get copies of your letters of recommendation. It will force them to file you differently from the rest of their stack of resumes.
Your 9" x 12" leather-bound or vinyl-bound portfolio will be used to carry your resume and letters of recommendation, and for taking notes after talking with each employer.
The amount of information you pick up at a job fair can sometimes be rather daunting. A briefcase or messenger bag gives you a mini-office from which to operate, including storage for extra copies of your resume and letters of recommendation. It also provides a much more professional look than the plastic bag most job fair attendees walk around with, loaded with their information cache of the day.
Image is crucial at a job fair—even more important than at a normal interview since decisions are made much more quickly. This is not the time to model the latest in campus fashions. Make sure you wear a classic business suit. Keep it conservative so that their focus is on you, not your clothes. For further information, refer to the Competitive Interview Prep section, and the Dressing for Interview Success page specifically.