The Career Navigator: How to Work a Career Fair-Part Two- Prepare and Plan

The Career Navigator: How to Work a Career Fair-Part Two- Prepare and Plan
By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson, Career Navigator

This is the second of a series of articles about how to prepare for the Career Fair at the NAB Show on April 9.   The Career Fair gives you an opportunity to make face-to-face connections with potential employers.  To get the most out of the career fair you must prepare carefully before you go.  Here are some tips about research and planning-two key elements to success.

Do your research and make notes before coming to a job fair.

If the job fair has a website or brochure, check it out prior to the job fair to see which companies will participate.  Make a list of the companies whose work you like and would like to work for.

Company websites often have news articles about the company, including press releases that describe both past projects and future projects. Study the staff listings. Read the bios of the company leaders and note names of human resources personnel. If the company is public, check its stock performance and annual reports. Note upcoming projects and current job openings. Make a list of those companies looking for someone with your skills and background and set those as a priority to see on the day of the career fair. Prepare a chart listing the company name, job openings, projects (both future and past) and leave space for notes you’ll glean from the job fair.

Be open to all the different companies that are participating in the career fair–both high profile and lesser known. Those that have less name recognition might just have the perfect job opportunity.  You may discover a company that could be the right fit for you at a job fair. Don’t overlook companies that are lesser known.  The career fair is a great place to discover employers and opportunities you hadn’t known about.

If possible, apply for the job before the career fair. Contact companies in advance and ask them if they are pre-screening people before the conference. Ask them what exactly they are looking for and try schedule an interview.

What to Wear

Wear comfortable shoes.   You’ll be on your feet all day.  Look sharp and pay attention to details. First impressions count so make an effort to look professional. What you wear to an interview and to a job fair is not self-expression, it’s marketing. Recruiters assume you need a job at a job fair–you don’t need to prove it by dressing like a homeless person.

What to Pack

Besides comfortable shoes, remember to bring plenty of copies of your resume and demo reel.    Don’t expect employers to look at your work on the web.  Pack mailing labels to ship back info, swag, business cards and brochures you collect.  Remember to bring your list of companies that interest you, with your research notes.  When you meet that company representative face to face and show you’ve done some homework, you will stand out from the crowd.

The Career Fair at the NAB Show is April 9 from 10 am to 3 pm.  The Career Fair is at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, Pavilion,  3000 Paradise Road, Las Vegas.  (Self parking is free).  The Las Vegas Hotel is directly adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center and offers access to the Skywalk Bridge.   The Career Fair at the NAB Show also offers seminars for attendees.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter, hiring strategist, and career coach and speaks often on career issues at conferences and colleges.  You can reach her for recruiting or personalized career coaching at  Read more about Pamela here:

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is an internationally-acclaimed recruiter, career coach and animation veteran (production manager on The Simpsons, ink and paint supervisor on Paramount's animated feature Bebe's Kids.) Pamela is a popular speaker at colleges, film festivals and entertainment industry conferences around the world.She has presented courses at SIGGRAPH in San Diego, Boston, and Los Angeles; was the commencement speaker at Art Institute of Tampa, and taught the Career Realities course at Gnomon School of Visual Effects.Pamela was named one of the Top Ten Recruiters by Animation Magazine and has worked with clients around the world such as Disney Feature Animation, Technicolor in Beijing, Framestore in London, and Lucas Animation in Singapore.She has written for over 80 publications including Computer Graphics, Animation Magazine, U.S. Art, Media History Digest, Apple Directions, Art Business News, Idaho Arts Quarterly, and Animation World Network.
Pamela Thompson
Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource