Organize a Successful Job Fair

A job fair is a unique networking opportunity that puts many different employers under one roof to network with potential employees, usually over the course of just one day. Job fairs can put participants on the fast-track to gaining a job, help companies fill vacancies and solve workforce issues in the community. In order to organize a successful job fair, you'll want to cater to both the job seeker and the company looking for future employees.


Planning the Fair

  1. Form a committee or group of individuals who will be in charge of plans for the job fair in clearly defined roles.
    • Depending on the size of your job fair, it may be important to have one or more people focused on the following areas: marketing, logistics, volunteer/staff for the event, employer contact, signs and graphics, secretarial and administrative duties. It may be helpful to have one or two people overall job fair coordinators.
  2. Set a date and time for your job fair at least 4 months ahead of time. Detail a budget that includes money for the venue and advertising.
  3. Find a place to have your job fair and reserve the space. Make a detailed diagram layout of the space and block out areas for company booths, registration tables, concessions and so forth.
  4. Invite companies to participate in the job fair. Aim for a mix of companies from a variety of industries that have jobs openings available, so you can cater to a broad segment of job seekers. As you get confirmations, ask if a company has any special equipment needs for the day.
  5. Distribute marketing materials. Place fliers and information at nearby colleges and high schools, and throughout community gathering places like coffee shops, libraries and grocery stores. Consider placing ads in local and regional newspapers, as well as trade journals. Set up media coverage the day of the event, as well.
  6. Design a professional job fair packet that each job seeker will receive upon entering the fair. The information should include a map and list of companies represented at the fair.
  7. Set up booths at the venue. Consider having an interview room or place away from the other booths that employers can use for on-the-spot interviews.
  8. Consider placing company vacancy listings at the entrance and at key areas throughout the job fair venue, along with a map of where the company's booth is located.
  9. Prepare name tags and signs for the event.

During the Fair

  1. Place volunteers at strategic points throughout the fair to take questions. You should definitely have people stand by at entrances and exits. Periodically, ask employer representatives if they need anything if they're having trouble getting away from their booths.
  2. Take video and pictures at the event that you can use in promotional materials next year.
  3. Survey exiting job seekers to gain valuable feedback.

After the Fair

  1. Evaluate attendance and analyze the completed job seeker surveys.
  2. Send thank-you notes to employers about 1 week after the event and include a survey to gain their feedback.
  3. Share the success with stories on your website and community media outlets.
  4. Gather with your job fair team one last time to discuss what went well at the job fair and what can be improved next time.
  5. Write down ideas and new procedures and file a final report so you have that information on hand when you go to plan your next job fair.

Sources and Citations