Hunting for employment is challenging, especially in today’s job market, so taking full advantage of every opportunity to reach out and connect with potential employers is important. Job fairs present the opportunity to network with multiple employers, but standing out can be daunting. There are several ways to help yourself stand out and establish firm connections that could lead to the position you have been searching for. Let’s dive into a few strategies!
If you are serious about landing a job, you better come prepared with resumes to hand out. If you happen to have a portfolio, now is the perfect time to use it! If you do not, use a folder of some sort to keep your resumes and any other documents neatly arranged. Dress appropriately and present yourself as someone that an employer can immediately have faith in.
Don’t just hand in your resume and expect results. In order to establish a connection, you must converse with potential employers and engage in dialogue that leads to further discussion outside of the job fair. You need to make sure that they walk away with at least a general knowledge of who you are and what you can offer as a candidate. Show enthusiasm! Career fairs are not as formal and structured as a job interview, now is the time to let your personality shine through!
Do Your Research
Before attending the job fair, research what potential employers will be there and look into their culture and open job opportunities. With background information, your conversation can be much more focused and direct offering you more information. It’s also a great way to make a first impression. Often the people working the booths at a job fair aren’t strictly just recruiters—you never know who you may be talking to!
Try your best to get specific contact information. Ask for the employer representative’s contact information so that you are able to personally follow up after the job fair is over. This allows you the opportunity to ask what further steps you can take in order to set-up an interview with the company, and shows further initiative on your part.
Thank the Employer Directly
When you reach the end of your conversation, thank the recruiter for their time. Now is also a good time to hand over your resume and repeat your name. Often these career fairs are long hours and can be a bit taxing on the recruiter—reminding them that you value their time can go a long way!
Attending a job fair, especially for those new to the job hunt scene, can be an intimidating affair. Keep in mind that the employers working the booths are eager to meet you and establish connections. Set yourself up for success with the advice above!