Job fairs are a great way to get in front of recruiters. Instead of just sending them your resume, you can talk face-to-face, ask questions and truly make an impression on them. At the same time, job fairs can be very competitive especially if there are many attendees. To make your time at a job fair worthwhile and to stand out in the crowd, here are some tips on how to prepare for job fairs and advice to keep in mind while you are there.
- Remember to treat the job fair as you would an interview. Dress professionally and on the conservative side if you are not sure what is appropriate.
- Before the job fair, conduct research on which companies will be represented. Visit your target companies’ websites to see what job openings they have and what exactly each company does. Your knowledge of each company will aide you in your conversations with recruiters and will make you seem more professional.
- Exhibit a friendly attitude. Smile, make eye contact and give a firm handshake to each recruiter you talk to.
- Prepare a short background on yourself including your experience, skills and interests that will only take a couple minutes to explain to recruiters. Also, be prepared to answer interview-type questions on the spot.
- Plan some questions for the recruiters. Recruiters want to know that you are interested in working for their company too. Asking questions will demonstrate your interest in learning more about the inner workings of the company and positions.
- Bring plenty of resume copies, depending on the size of the event.
- Bring a notepad and pen along just in case you would like to write down any notes or reminders for later.
- Be prepared to fill out applications. Have your work history and other necessary information on hand.
- While it’s ok to pick up freebies at employer’s booths, make sure that the employers know that you are just as interested in working for them.
- Obtain the business cards of the representatives you talk to. If you plan to apply for a position at a later time, you may customize your cover letter to the hiring representative and mention your experience at the job fair.
Job fairs can be hectic events, and a person without a strategy can easily be overwhelmed. By taking the time beforehand to prep for the job fair, your preparedness will help to distinguish yourself from other job seekers.