How to Maximize a Job Fair
A job fair offers you a unique opportunity to make the most of your job hunting efforts. You can make connections and interview for numerous positions in one central location. The forum enables you to meet company representatives and hiring managers face-to-face. A casual conversation may lead to a formal job interview. You can also network with other attendees. These tips will help you maximize your job fair opportunities.
Be Selective You should focus your efforts on job fairs that promote employment opportunities which match your abilities and interests. In addition to showcasing your talents, your goal is to find the right position in a location where you would like to reside.
On average, you should concentrate on approximately four companies in attendance. Identify the companies with whom you are an ideal match. It’s important to consider smaller or lesser known companies. You may find excellent opportunities and fewer competitors for those positions. After you meet with representatives from your targeted companies, you can explore other potential opportunities.
Prepare to Standout Although your time with a potential employer may be limited, you should prepare as though it is a regular job interview. Research the companies that you plan to target prior to the job fair. Ask your colleagues whether they are familiar with these companies and whether they can offer any insights into these firms. Prepare several questions about the companies to demonstrate your familiarity and interest.
Prepare a customized resume for each company. Remember to have additional copies even if you have previously submitted one online. Your resume should be in the active voice. Ask someone to proofread it for spelling and errors. Assemble a portfolio of your credentials and take it to the job fair.
Every minute counts. Prepare and practice an initial one minute introductory pitch for prospective employers. Write it down; commit it to memory it and then practice it with a colleague who can provide constructive criticism. The pitch should explain who you are, identify your abilities and how you can help the company. You should also create a brief follow-up that outlines your overall experience and background. Practice your handshake as well.
Attention to Detail First impressions are critical. Wear appropriate clothing for the venue. Job fairs are normally business casual. If you aren’t sure of the proper attire, contact the event organizer. Men should wear conservative slacks and a collared shirt. Women can wear pants or a skirt along with a blouse. Do not wear jeans. Ensure that your clothes fit properly and are freshly dry cleaned or laundered. Avoid eating meals at the job fair that could spill and stain your clothing. Attention to the finer details can distinguish you from other prospective candidates.
Attend the job fair alone as you would a regular job interview. You want to stand out from other job hunters. While you are not actively engaged with employers at the meeting, take interest in those around you. They may be able to share valuable information about opportunities of which you may be unaware. This is also a chance to practice your introductory pitch.
Do not collect a large amount of free giveaways. It will distract you from your goal. Select only one or two items from your targeted companies to show your interest.
You should never just drop off your resume at a booth. Use this as an opportunity to introduce yourself and deliver your prepared remarks to the company representative.
After the Event The interview process doesn’t end with the job fair. When you return home, send your company contacts a thank you email or note. Let them know that you appreciate the time that they took to discuss their business and career opportunities with you. Outline any distinctive points that you made during the interview and remind them about the benefits that you will bring to the company. The thank you note may inspire them to take a closer look at your resume.
You should be assertive and focus on the parts of the event that you can control. With careful preparation, you can distinguish yourself from other job candidates. This will improve your chances of securing a position with one of your targeted companies.
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