How to Make the Most of a Job Fair
Benefits of a Job Fair
- Talk face to face with HR professionals who are difficult to reach
- Save time and expense of mailing your résumé
- Meet with other job seekers and network in your profession
- Focus your energy on companies that are actively seeking new employees
- Make a good impression in a way that a résumé cannot - with a smile and a handshake
Why do companies participate?
- To be seen - visibility - PR - Marketing vehicle
- To attract good applicants / Hiring for openings
- To educate the public on its mission and purpose
- Building up applicant pool for future openings
Why do YOU participate?
- To be hired with a good company in a good job
- To help determine career direction
- To learn more about the companies hiring
- To market and network - what are you marketing - Yourself!
Preparation before the Job Fair
- Research the employers that plan to attend. Information can be found on the company's website or at your local library or in business papers.
- Prepare questions for the employers - shows interest and knowledge about the company.
- Prepare a résumé that presents your background clearly and concisely. Estimate the number of employers that you plan to visit and bring twice that many résumés.
- Prepare and practice a 60-second commercial that introduces yourself, your background and why you are interested in working with the company.
During the Job Fair - Show Time!
- Dress and act professionally. You may be meeting your new boss for the first time and you do not want your first impression to be anything less than professional. Your purpose is to make a good impression and create an opening for further contact.
- Talk to someone at each booth. Use your preparation knowledge during this approach - use your 60-second commercial and ask questions you have prepared that demonstrate knowledge of your field.
- Do not be shy - if the rep does not handle the job opening directly, ask for referral.
- Take business card/company materials and ask them what their next step is - May you follow up and when should you follow up?
- THANK them for their time.
- Take reminder notes of your conversation.
Follow up after the Job Fair
- Send thank you note.
- Send résumé and cover letter to the companies you did not speak with.
- Call to follow up with the companies you met with - refer to notes!
NOTES TO REMEMBER:
- Bring plenty of résumés.
- Dress and act as if you were going to an interview.
- You will probably not be interviewed at the job fair.
- You will not be offered a job at the fair.
- You will make valuable contacts.
- Have fun!