Tips for a successful recruitment fairs

The arrival of fall marks the start of the season for recruitment fairs and other forums. Here is, in seven tips, everything you need to know to pass this test. Because before being a place of recruitment, the forum constitutes, above all, the occasion of a meeting between a candidate and a recruiter. We systematically exchange ideas, and CVs if affinity. This moment is a must for all candidates. So don’t miss to find these Tips for a successful recruitment fair.


The right forum

The forums in which you participate should be chosen with care. Nothing could be more disagreeable than wasting half a day in a vast hall which accommodates very few companies. To make the right choice, you must first find out about the quality of the companies present. “If you go to a specialized” advice “salon, check that the big names in the sector are present,” recommends the Guidance and Career department of the HEC group. Then, you have to target salons that have certain seniority. Some have been around for over ten years. It is a guarantee of seriousness. It is also necessary to examine the way in which the show is made known in France but also abroad: is he able to afford pages of advertising in a major daily or does he prefer to resort to the newsletter of the alumni office? Also, visit the website set up for this operation. It will provide you if the show is serious, with all the information you need.  

Finally, you will be able to consult on-site (even if it will be a little late) the booklet of the companies present. Any good show must give it to its visitors. 

The target company

“You have to visit a forum knowing which companies you are going to meet,” says the career department of Reims Management School. Then, you must position yourself with them as someone who will provide a service to the company ”. Because a forum is prepared and matures like a first recruitment interview. An example: there is no question of arriving at the forum without having a precise knowledge of the activities and news of the company in which you wish to apply. Each forum has set up specific means to give you information on the companies present. It is then necessary to document oneself, to study the company files where they present themselves, and to explain the positions they offer. You will find these indications on the Internet.

In addition, to be able to argue with recruiters, you must first think about your desires and your professional expectations. Once this process is completed, it will then be a question of knowing exactly why you are participating in this forum and what you are looking for there, especially in terms of a position. Would you like to work as a private or business client advisor, a lawyer or a quality engineer? The answer to this question should be unambiguous. All this work must be done before the forum. You should also get the show guide to target the companies you are going to approach. Your time will be counted during the show. So don’t waste precious minutes meeting companies that don’t interest you. A dozen companies to target is more than enough.  

You can then draw up a battle plan to know which companies to approach. It is to be established by answering these two questions: which sectors interest me the most, which companies do I want to work for?

Indeed, the show makes it possible to measure its suitability for a company. It is used to establish that the offer proposed by the company corresponds to what the candidate is looking for. On the one hand, the candidate must make sure that the company he is approaching is the right one. On the other hand, he must convince her that he is the person to hire. For this, you will have to explain to the recruiter why his company has an interest in integrating you into its workforce. It will be necessary to highlight your successes, your strengths, your passions. 

The right questions

In a forum, you absolutely have to ask recruiters questions. What does the job of branch manager in your bank consist of? What are the different functions of a financial analyst? What are the daily actions of an assistant product manager or a work supervisor? Indeed, companies greatly value candidates who are interested in their trades. This is proof that the applicant is motivated and curious. This is a very good sign. All forum specialists agree on this point: the forum is used above all to exchange information. When the applicant has obtained these details, his goal must be to go further in the knowledge of the company. Because the forum is used to refine the professional project. Companies are looking for employees who are interested in the needs of the business.

In addition, talk to as many people as possible, whether they are recruiters, former students of a school or, like you, looking for a job. Remember to check in with your friends, at lunchtime for example. They will share with you the “good tips”: the stands where the fishing for information was fruitful, the afternoon conferences … Each forum worthy of the name organizes conferences on specific themes: the best training courses to exercise such or such profession, wages in such or such sector. Spend time on these debates. They are an invaluable source of information. You will be able to ask questions, get answers from independent specialists. Their details will enrich your knowledge and allow you to better understand the sector, the profession, and the function you have chosen. This will allow you to better negotiate your future salary, to better respond to a job interview. 

The right clothing

The question of dress is no longer really an issue. Everyone knows today that a minimum is essential. “It’s a question of politeness,” specify in unison the recruiters contacted. We do not want candidates to be conformists. But there is a minimum: shave, clean clothes, etc. The dress to adopt must correspond to your personality and especially to the ways of doing business and the sector which interest you. If you are applying for a video game business, you may be able to afford a few whims. If you want to get a job in the consulting or banking sector, stick to suits (for men) and tailors (for women). Your interlocutors would not understand that you have another outfit. If you have any doubts, dress in a neutral way. In any case, your clothes must match those of the recruiter. But you shouldn’t overdo it either. The key is to stay natural. 

The correct arrival time

You have to show up early to a forum. Several hundred candidates, like you, will have a good idea of ​​storming the stands in the early morning. It is not necessary to arrive at 9:30 am when the show opens. Give recruiters half an hour to prepare. You have to arrive early because recruiters are more receptive at the start of the morning than at the end of the day. They are also more likely to be at their booth in the morning than at lunchtime or even in the middle of the day when conferences are organized.

Take as many CVs (or more) as there are companies to contact. Moreover, if you have sorted through the companies present at the forum, you know perfectly well who you are going to contact. You can therefore write a detailed cover letter, which you will only give if the interview has gone well. Remember to take a notebook with you to take notes when meeting with businesses. 


For the candidate, the recruitment fair is, by definition, the opportunity to “sell”. From this perspective, an arrogant or aggressive attitude is not welcome. “You have to be clear, direct … but unpretentious,” suggests the recruiting officer of a company participating in around thirty French forums per year.

In addition, the way of approaching the interview and submitting his CV is based on the elementary rule of courtesy. It is obviously not recommended to put your CV on the table without any comments. Or to ignore the time the recruiter will spend with you. In fact, the rules are the same as for an interview: listening and relevance of questions. Be curious and play the natural card. It is useless to try to impress or to say yes to everything that is offered to you. 

The stakes

For a candidate, the fair serves above all to gather information. So do not hesitate, even if we recommend targeting companies, to look elsewhere. Take advantage of the show to contact companies that work in sectors that do not initially interest you. Thus, candidates are always very surprised by the very wide range of professions that a large company can offer. Indeed, banks, consulting specialists, industry or IT giants are looking for salespeople but also engineers. They are just as interested in finance specialists as they are in human resources, mathematics, or e-business. It is only by questioning the recruiting officers present that you will be able to realize the scope of the functions offered.

By Admon

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