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To Staple or Not to Staple: A Resume Guide for Job Seekers at a Job Fair

As a job seeker attending a job fair, one of the questions that may arise is whether it’s appropriate to staple your resume or not. With conflicting opinions on the matter, it can be difficult to know what to do. This guide explores the pros and cons of stapling resumes at job fairs and offers practical advice to help you decide.

Other Methods of Presenting a Resume at a Job Fair

Before we dive into the debate over stapling resumes, let’s first discuss the different ways you can present your resume at a job fair. Some job seekers prefer to print several copies of their resumes and carry them in a folder or portfolio. Others may choose to email their resumes to recruiters on the spot, or even upload them to an online platform provided by the job fair organizers.

No matter how you choose to present your resume, the most important thing is to ensure that it’s clear, concise, and tailored to the specific job or industry you’re interested in. A well-crafted resume can make all the difference in landing that dream job.

Pros of Stapling a Resume

Stapling your resume has some benefits to offer. Here are some of the pros:

  • Ensures that your resume pages stay together and in order.
  • Makes it easier for recruiters to keep your information organized.
  • Professional and may even stand out from other pile of resumes.
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Cons of Stapling a Resume

On the other hand, stapling your resume may have some downsides. Here are a few cons you should consider:

  • The staple can damage or even tear the pages, making it look unprofessional.
  • It may become difficult for the recruiter to separate or copy a particular page if necessary.
  • Not all recruiters may appreciate the gesture of stapling the resume, and it may potentially jeopardize your chances of landing that dream job.

Etiquette or Guidelines Specific to the Job Fair

Some job fairs or recruiters may have specific guidelines or preferences on how they want resumes presented. It is important to research and read up on any guidelines that may be specified before attending the event. For instance, the recruiters may prefer that resumes not be stapled. Following the guidelines will show that you are professional, organized, and serious about the job.

How to Decide Whether to Staple Your Resume

Ultimately, the decision to staple your resume or not is up to you. But how do you decide? Here are some practical tips that can help you make a well-informed decision:

  • Always research and follow any specific guidelines or preferences by the job fair organizers.
  • Consider the overall appearance of the resume. Is it easy to read and well-organized?
  • Think about what will make you stand out from other job seekers. Does stapling your resume do that?
  • Most importantly, do what makes you feel comfortable and confident. If you prefer to staple your resume, then do it. If not, then don’t.
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Helpful Tips for Job Fairs

  • Dress appropriately and professionally. Remember, the first impression is crucial.
  • Bring a few extra copies of your resume just in case you meet additional recruiters.
  • Prepare an elevator pitch to sell yourself to recruiters.
  • Take advantage of the opportunity to attend workshops, network, and build relationships with other job seekers and industry professionals.


To staple or not to staple? The answer depends on your personal preference and the specific guidelines set by the recruiters or organizers. Regardless of how you choose to present your resume, the most important thing is to make sure it showcases your skills, qualifications, and experience effectively.


Is it necessary to bring a printed copy of my resume to a job fair?

Yes, it is essential to bring a printed copy of your resume to a job fair. Not all employers may have access to digital copies, and a well-crafted resume can set you apart from other candidates.

How many copies of my resume should I bring to a job fair?

It’s recommended that you bring at least 10 to 15 copies of your resume. This will give you enough to hand out to any recruiters who show interest in your profile.

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