4imprint, LLC

5 min read

Career fairs play an important role in recruitment. They provide a unique opportunity to meet and engage with motivated and skilled job seekers. And with every other company competing for the same talent, standing out from the crowd is essential. Memorable career fair giveaways are one way to get noticed. And exhibiting a strong employer brand can help speed up the search process even more.

We’ve compiled six outside-the-box tips, plus many career fair giveaway ideas, to create engaging opportunities that will help you attract your next superstar employee.

  1. Use promotional products to share helpful information.
  2. Pique interest with career fair giveaways.
  3. Promote interaction with games and prizes.
  4. Choose branded giveaways that keep up with trends.
  5. Surprise attendees with unexpected swag.
  6. Help job seekers prepare and destress with useful promo items.

Use promotional products to share helpful information

To draw in job seekers, be transparent about your company’s mission, values and culture. Make open positions easy to find and qualifications easy to understand. Instead of simply directing interested individuals to your website, make information readily available at your booth. Approximately 89 million smartphone users scanned a QR code last year. Include one that leads to your recruitment page on a branded tabletop display.

Person viewing a QR code on a smartphone.

Further enhance engagement with swag. The best career fair giveaways tie into the skills you want in candidates. If you’re looking for someone who is organized and put together, give away chip clips. If you need a candidate who isn’t afraid of hard work, go for an ice scraper. Want more good listeners on your team? Tempt them with ear buds. Ready for someone to shine the light on new ideas? Hand out flashlights.

Pique interest with career fair giveaways

As remote work continues to increase in popularity, career fairs have become vital for face-to-face interactions with job seekers. Make the most of the event by promoting your organization’s participation ahead of time on your website and social media. Inform your audience about your plans and booth location, and get creative to spark their interest.

Create a recruitment fair BINGO card that attendees can download and complete in exchange for special swag items. Include options that involve engaging with other attendees (find someone from the same city as you), or that can be completed on their own (snap a picture of a certain vendor’s booth). Come prepared with smaller items, like zip bags or stress balls, for BINGOs, and larger items, like baseball hats and tumblers, for blackouts.

Promote interaction with games and prizes

Set your booth apart by adding interactive games. Introduce a branded prize wheel or prize drop and offer a variety of items for visitors to win. Choose small items, like pens and hand sanitizers, and larger prizes, such as water bottles and wireless speakers. Branded bags make another great career fair prize. A fold-up tote is a perfect choice. It’s roomy enough to hold all the items they pick up while perusing the show and folds up for easy travel. And remember, according to the latest research from Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), the average bag generates 1,940 impressions in its lifetime (PDF).

Career fair scene. Many people are carrying branded tote bags

Choose branded giveaways that keep up with trends

Differentiate yourself from competitors by staying on top of current trends. One thing’s for sure, lots of people carry water bottles everywhere they go. Incorporate high-quality stickers into your giveaways that job seekers can put on their water bottles or laptops.

Fidget toys remain popular and can help engage individuals who prefer to keep their hands busy. Feature sensory-friendly swag items, like a fidget pop wallet insert, to show inclusivity toward neurodivergent job seekers.

Surprise attendees with unexpected swag

Approximately 85% of people who receive a promotional product remember the brand that gave it to them (PDF).

Man at desk with a thought bubble that shows a memory of him receiving a product at a career fair.

Increase that recall even more when you break away from the expected and offer surprises that tie in with recruitment ideas. For example, distribute citrus peelers to illustrate how your company helps customers turn lemons into lemonade. Hand out measuring cups to symbolize that you’re looking for a team member who can measure up to high standards or bottle openers to showcase your work-hard/play-hard culture. Back scratchers can promote your company’s commitment to self-care.

Incorporate games and puzzles into your booth to create excitement and provide a screen-free break. Offer word searches or crossword puzzles for attendees to enjoy. Some of the best career fair giveaways are toys, like cube puzzles, Rubik’s Cubes® or 3D puzzles. These items help individuals remember your brand even after they leave the event.

Help job seekers prepare and destress with useful promo items

Recognize the stress and challenges that come with the job search process. Demonstrate your support by providing helpful items for candidates at your booth. Offer handheld mirrors and lip balm to help job seekers prepare for interviews. Supply bottled water for refreshment during long conversations. Provide charging cables to allow candidates to recharge their devices.

Make your booth a relaxing and welcoming oasis to alleviate the sometimes-overwhelming nature of career fairs. Emphasize your company’s commitment to wellbeing by offering nutritious snack packs and first-aid kits. Encourage easy conversation with anti-stress coloring books and crayons.

Snag the best employees with the best career fair giveaways

Incorporating these tips into your recruitment strategy will help you attract top talent and make a lasting impression on everyone who visits your booth. Stand out from the competition, engage with job seekers and showcase your brand’s unique qualities with help from these useful career fair giveaway ideas.