Top Tips for a Successful Job Fair
Some people find job fairs to be stressful and overwhelming and may seem like a daunting task, but they are in fact an excellent way to bolster your job search to find your dream job. You may be one of hundreds of candidates fighting for a recruiter’s attention, but you can earn an advantage over the competition by following these top tips and make the most out of your job fair experience.
Do your homework.
Check the information available to participants and see which companies are hiring people with your skill set and then try to visit those recruiters first while you’re still fresh. Use the map or copy of floor plan given if there is any and make sure you mark the places you need to visit first. You should also mark off the companies that you speak to, so that you can remember to follow-up after the event.
Present yourself professionally.
Wear a professional outfit as you will be meeting with various recruiters and company representatives. Make sure you dress appropriately. However, participating in a job fair can be grueling both emotionally and physically, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. You won’t be able to be your best self for the recruiters if you’re in excruciating pain because of uncomfortable footwear. Remember to arrive early when the event begins to attract the most attention.
Bring extra copies of your resume.
Make sure to bring extra copies of your resume in case you see an employer or position opening that appeals to you (aside from the target companies) on the day of the job fair. You don’t need to hand out your resume aimlessly but bring at least a dozen extra copies above what you need. Also bring your business cards to exchange with both representatives and other job seekers you meet at the fair.
Prepare your Elevator Pitch.
In order to be noticed and remembered by recruiters among the hundreds, you should have a 30 second or less pitch about who you are and what value you would add to the employer. Consider using a form of your branding statement as your elevator speech. It takes a while to perfect your pitch, so write it out, revise it and practice several times before the job fair.
Expand your network and keep up your energy.
Chat with people you meet in line or at various booths. Give out and collect business cards to expand your professional network. Remember to smile and maintain a warm, friendly tone in conversations as you want to leave the recruiters with a positive impression. Even if you feel your energy is lagging especially towards the end of the fair, try to keep a positive attitude – it will go a long way.
Thank them and follow up within 48 hours.
If you want to set yourself apart from the competition, take business cards and send thank you e-mails after the event. In your e-mail, you should reference when and where you met and the position that interests you. You most likely won’t receive a response from the recruiter, but it will solidify your interest in the company and remind them of why you are a strong candidate.