It’s that time of year again. The job fairs are coming. Each spring, most large cities host career events that are attended by hundreds of employers and thousands of job seekers. What can you do to make the most of a job fair? Lots!
Be prepared with a great resume. Have your resume professionally prepared and in top-notch shape for giving to prospective employers. It should be printed on good quality paper and be clean and neat. This is also the one time your resume can be stapled if it’s more than one page. The reason for the staple is because the recruiters and employers will be collecting lots of resumes in a short amount of time and it is more likely to have pages separated when it’s in such a huge pile. All other times, you should never staple your resume.
Dress for success. You are going to an interview (several of them, in fact) so you need to be dressed for it. Job seekers often slip away from their current jobs at lunchtime to attend a job fair and don’t want their employers wondering why they are all dressed up. Take clothes and change before going to the fair and then change back to your regular clothes before returning to work to allay suspicion. Another tip: wear an eye-catching tie or a beautiful brooch. Such attire will help the recruiter remember you in the sea of faces he will see that day.
Do your research. Before you go, scope out which employers will be attending and read up on the ones you find interesting. Your research will give you fodder for your short interview with the recruiter and you won’t have to waste precious face-time talking about the company basics.
Have a sales spiel. Develop a thirty-second elevator speech that will introduce you to the recruiter and provide him/her with a quick overview of what you have to offer.
Get their cards. Make sure you get the recruiters’ cards so you can follow up with a thank you note and an electronic version of your resume. It’s a proven fact that those who follow up get the jobs. Go the extra mile for success.
Don’t load up on stuff. Sure, everyone there will have some sort of gadget they are giving away – letter openers, mouse pads, stress balls, etc. Don’t grab all this stuff and tote it around in a bag. It’s tacky.
Don’t eat and interview. Food and talking don’t go well together, especially when you are trying to make a good impression.