Job fairs are a great opportunity to interact with representatives from multiple companies in a short period of time. However, job seekers should prepare in advance.
Here are five tips for acing a job fair and bringing your “A” game:
1. Brush Up Your Elevator Speech
Almost all recruiters will ask you what type of work you are interested in doing. You would be amazed at how many candidates just say “I’ll do anything.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t help the recruiter and it can be a huge turnoff.
Instead, try talking to the recruiter about what types of jobs interest you and what jobs you have held in the past. Generally, past performance predicts future success, so a recruiter who knows that you have experience in a certain area will likely favor you over a candidate who can’t articulate his/her skill set.
2. Find Out As Much Information As Possible BEFORE The Day Of The Fair
If you can obtain a list of the companies participating prior to the event, do your homework by going out to their websites and taking a look at the types of positions that are currently open. After reviewing the entire list of companies who are participating, make a list of your top choices and visit those organizations when you first get to the job fair. Job fairs are tiring for both job seekers and recruiters, so both parties will be fresher at the beginning of the event.
3. Bring Extra Copies Of Your Resume
This may seem obvious, but there are always job fair attendees who are without copies of their resumes. Make sure you have ample copies and consider having various versions of your resume if you are interested in more than one career field or area of expertise.
4. Wear Appropriate Clothing And Comfortable Shoes
This tip may also seem obvious, but it’s important to note that recruiters have the expectation that they will see people dressed professionally. It’s not always necessary to wear a suit, but athletic wear and extremely casual clothing are probably not good choices when you’re trying to make a strong first impression on the recruiters.
5. Ask Questions
You may not have much time to speak with a recruiter if the job fair is really crowded, but it’s perfectly acceptable to ask about the organization’s available positions and their recruiting process. Recruiters should be able to provide you with an estimate of how long it will take the organization to contact you if they are interested in bringing you in for an interview.
If you find an organization or job that really interests at the job fair, consider doing some more research on the company and following up with the recruiter a few days after the event to reiterate your interest in the position.