Making Job Fairs Work For You
by Jobs 4 Grads Now
Alright, you’ve heard about a Job Fair going on in your area and you want to attend. So how should you prepare since this is a great opportunity for a face-to-face point-of-contact. There are things that you should do and there are definitely things you should not do if you want to make a Job Fair work for you.
Let’s take a look at what you should do first …
Begin by sitting down and writing your 30-second “elevator pitch”. If you’re not familiar with this term, basically, it’s being able to effectively deliver your own personal “sales pitch” in the 30 seconds you might share with another person on an elevator who’s interested in you and what you’re seeking. Write it, time it, and rehearse it. And after you’re done rehearsing it, rehearse it a few more times! This is your chance to shine during a quick point-of-contact. We have a video specifically on your 30-second “elevator pitch” in Step 7 because it’s that important. Check it out.
Next, be sure to bring an ample supply of your business cards with you to the Job Fair. The last thing you want to do is run out then have someone ask you for a card. This would be a missed opportunity to make a positive impression.
Speaking of business cards, don’t forget to look at your Jobs Resources Section which will share with you where you can get biz cards cheap! On your business card, be sure to include your name, address, email address, and phone number. And here is another advantage tip. You can use the back of the business card to advertise yourself. You should include accomplishments or achievements that you are proud of from your resume.
Along with your fully rehearsed “elevator pitch” and your business cards, be sure to bring a number of updated, clean copies of your resume’.
In terms of appropriate attire, think of the Job Fair as a job interview – because it is. You should wear a conservative suit – preferably dark in color during the Fall and Winter months and lighter colors in Spring and Summer months. Your shoes should be clean and polished … and no from sandals or flip-flops.
Once you arrive at the Job Fair, be sure to take job posting flyers off each table you visit. On your interview, be sure to use some of the information on the flyers such as the company motto, mission statement or what the company stands for. Make sure to align their beliefs with yours.
Here is a tip. Instead of just getting in line go to the side of the booth and quietly pick up some information on the table. While there, take a few steps back and listen to some of the questions the employer is asking in the interview in front of you. Then you can be prepared to answer the same questions yourself. The more you do this, the more you will have a competitive advantage.
Next, be sure to get business cards from everyone you speak to.
And after the Job Fair, you must follow-up within 24 hours with a handwritten thank-you note – which is considered the most personal approach – or with a phone call or email to the people you spoke with. Following up in a timely fashion is yet another opportunity for you to demonstrate your professionalism and make a positive impression.
Now, let’s take a look at what you should not do when attending a Job Fair …
In terms of attire, no gym clothes, casual outfits or beach wear – never! You don’t want to look as if you just decided to “pop in” on your way home. This will backfire on you, trust me.
Next, don’t show up with soiled, wrinkled or crumpled copies of your resume’.
And even if you feel like you’ve made an immediate, friendly connection with a person at the Job Fair, avoid coming across as overly relaxed or having an attitude that’s too casual. Also avoid conversation involving personal matters or any non-job-related topics. They call it a Job Fair and not a cocktail party for a reason!
As we said earlier, treat a Job Fair like a job interview – because it is!