August 6, 2012 08:30
Job Fairs are an effective and resourceful way to have the opportunity to network with various employers at one time and place, gather important information on companies and learn more about various industries. Attending a job fair provides a convenient and efficient way to apply with several companies and allows one to set up immediate interviews.
Candidates should remember that while they are given the chance to talk with a number of employers, you generally only have a few minutes with each one. So it's important to maximize your impact at the event.
Below are a couple of strategies to use while attending your next job fair and to help maximize your impact:
- Who will be attending? Many job fairs will provide a list of companies attending in advance and often online.
- Research the companies you are interested in prior to the job fair, as advanced planning and preparation are important keys to your success.
- Identify your strengths and be able to speak to them.
- Make sure to bring an adequate supply of resumes.
At the Job Fair
- Dress in interview appropriate attire.
- Do a walkthrough of the venue once you arrive.
- When approaching a potential employer, smile, shake hands, and introduce yourself.
- Give a copy of your resume to the recruiter/representative at the table/booth.
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the company. Ask questions.
- Discuss your strengths and what it is you are looking for in your next career.
- Be prepared to answer questions asked by the recruiter/representative.
After the Job Fair
- Make sure to pick up business cards from the table/booths you visited.
- Write a personalized thank-you note within a couple of days to companies you spoke with and make sure to cite something specific from your discussion.
- Follow-up your thank-you note with a phone call to make sure the company received your application materials if you don’t hear from them within two weeks of the Job Fair.
- Treat the Job Fair as an initial contact and continue to research the companies that interest you.
- Keep accurate records of your contacts, including dates of your letters/emails or phone calls, and copies of all application materials.
- Continue learning as much as you can about what employers/companies are looking for in the people they hire.