Job fairs are a common way for employers to meet and recruit a large group of interested candidates in a short time frame. Usually attended by a wide range of organizations looking to hire new employees, job fairs provide an opportunity for job seekers to learn, network and shop around for positions.
But let’s not forget that without a clear plan of action, job fairs can also be highly overwhelming. With so many different booths to visit, take-away materials to read and new people to meet, it’s not uncommon to lose your focus. If you’re attending a job fair in the near future, the most beneficial thing you can do to avoid this outcome is to devote some time in advance to research and planning.
With a clear plan of attack, it’ll be much easier to zoom in on the employers you should speak to and take advantage of key opportunities.
So where do you start?
Do Your Homework
Spend a few hours before the job fair learning about the event and the participating employers. Most job fairs will have a website with ample information. But don’t stop there. Take some time to visit company websites and learn more about the employers that you’re interested in speaking with. This will help you make a list of which companies you should visit and to prioritize them accordingly. With a clear idea of who you’re looking to meet, you’ll arrive fully focused (and avoid wasting time and energy wandering aimlessly through the fair).
Dress for Success
This should go without saying, but make sure you arrive at the job fair looking well groomed and professional. While you can get away with slightly more casual attire than a formal job interview, it’s not a bad idea to really dress for success. Plus, looking sharp will likely give you that extra boost of confidence you need when you’re conversing with various recruiters.
If you’re serious about finding meaningful employment, a job fair is not the time to ‘wing it.’ Spend some quality time updating and revising your current resume to ensure that you have a clear, concise and accurate representation of your professional history. Avoid a resume with fancy graphics or lengthy descriptions of your various positions. A job fair resume should be easily scannable and, most importantly, include your contact information should a recruiter want to get in touch with you.
Keeping your energy up as you navigate through a job fair can feel a bit like running a marathon. But if you want to make great job connections, it’s crucial to remain enthusiastic and polite throughout the duration of the fair. Be ready to comfortably discuss your career goals, experience and education with recruiters. And don’t forget to prepare a few questions for them as well. One of the best ways to make a good impression during a preliminary job fair interview is to avoid falling into the uncomfortable interview formalities. If you can turn your encounter with a recruiter into an informed and intelligent two-way conversation rather than a stiff, one-way question period, you’re guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.
These simple steps could be the difference between leaving a job fair without any promising leads and securing your next job.
Looking for even more helpful tips? Contact Employment Professionals Canada to help you find the great job that you’ve been searching for.