Attending a job fair, where different companies aim to hire prospective employees, is part of the quest for a new job these days. These can be overwhelming for the first-timer, but if you are wise enough to follow some good advice, you will survive the rush at a job fair. We offer some tips for those who are visiting job fairs.
1. Come prepared.
Bring several copies of your resume or CV, your calling cards, and other supporting documents that firms may ask you to provide. Also, you might want to have pocket-sized versions of your CV so people have, at a glance, a quick summary of your credentials.
2. Dress smartly.
A job fair is your chance to make a first impression. Don’t forget to wear an outfit that is professional enough for your employers to see that you are taking the job search seriously. Err on the side of more conservative wear, such as subdued colors and minimal accessories. Also, since you’ll be waiting in line, wear comfortable dress shoes.
3. Prepare your pitch.
Sometimes, you only have a few seconds to convince a prospective employer that you’re worth hiring. Experts on job fairs recommend that you prepare an “elevator pitch” of no longer than 30 seconds (or a minute). This pitch summarizes, in a short span of time, your skills, qualifications, and why employers should hire you for a job.
4. Do your research.
Most job or career fairs have listings of companies that intend to attend. If you are particularly interested in firms that you wish to work with, you may want to do your research. Check out the company’s website and look over their mission statement, what they do, and what potential openings they might have. Part of leaving a good impression with a prospective employer includes knowing enough about them.
5. Arrive early.
It should be obvious to prospective job searchers that being on time for an interview makes good professional sense. When it comes to job fairs, it helps to be there even before the fair opens. Being early allows you to take into account the long lines that often occur at a job fair.
6. Be curious and enthusiastic.
Don’t be afraid to show your best smile! Employers tell experts that they value enthusiasm from people wanting to apply for jobs with them. And don’t hesitate to ask smart questions. Prospective employers value curiosity from people who want to know more about what the company does (given that they have done their research).
7. Take the time to network.
There are plenty of opportunities for networking at a job fair. Even while waiting in line, you might want to talk with your companions and exchange business cards. You might want to consider attending workshops and seminars if your job fair offers them, which offer more opportunities for networking.
8. Be polite.
The last tip we can offer could not be simpler. It’s always good to say “please” and “thank you” to hiring managers who have to interview plenty of prospective employees.
Following these eight tips should help you survive your next job or career fair. Make the most out of it and leave a good impression that should help you land that job.