Job fairs don’t get the credit they deserve. They gather together dozens of motivated employers in one place and allow job seekers to make their first impression face to face, with someone who is eager to speak to them. Think of how much better this is than the typical recruitment process. If you are looking for a new professional opportunity, job fairs are a terrific resource. Use these strategies to help you get the most out of the experience.
Do Advanced Research
First, you need to find out what kinds of job fairs are out there, which are most applicable to you, when they are being held and where. Then you need to research the individual companies that will be in attendance. You will make a much stronger impression if you know something about the companies that you are trying to make a connection. It also helps to cross reference the companies with posts on job boards so you know what kinds of open positions they have.
Create Your “Pitch”
You won’t have long to speak with the representatives at various booths, meaning you have a short amount of time to make a lasting impact. Before you attend, come up with a “pitch” that succinctly summarizes your experience, education, skills, and exceptional abilities. This doesn’t have to be a speech you memorize, but you should be able to deliver a distilled description of your professional aptitude confidently, crisply, and quickly.
Dress for the Event
You should always dress professionally for a job fair, but keep in mind that you could be there all day, and you will be spending a lot of time on your feet. Get your hair cut or styled before the event, go in wearing formal attire, and try to pick a pair of shoes that is presentable but comfortable. Also, avoid carrying a backpack or large purse. You should be able to carry all the papers you need in one folder or portfolio, but if you need more space use a briefcase.
If a potential employer asks for something, you want to be able to hand it to them immediately. Bring multiple copies of your resume, and consider making several different resumes targeted to different industries/employers. You should also have a business card and make a point of giving it to everyone you meet. You might also consider bringing copies of your college transcript, proof of certifications, or any other documents that establish your credentials.
A day or two after the fair, follow up with any employer that interests you. Mention that you met at the fair, enjoyed your conversation, and appreciate their time and input. You should also reiterate your interest in a position, offer to send over any missing/necessary documents, and provide all your contact information once again.
If you are looking for a job, a job fair is just one resource you can utilize. Contact JH Technical Services, an expert staffing firm, to learn about other employee services.