In part one, we dished out five tips on ways job-seekers can win at a job fair. In part two of this entry, we’d like to give away five more additional tidbits, so you’ve got all the ammunition you need to attend that next job fair and rock! If you’ve missed any of the first five tips, refer to part one of this blog and then simply come on back…(insert link)
Strategize. Why do I need to strategize at a job fair? Well, because you’re not the only attendee looking to fill a prospective employer’s vacancy, that’s why! If you pre-registered for the fair and researched what companies are attending the fair, you now have to learn the lay of the land. Job fairs are usually held in large spaces, obviously. So a plan of attack is almost always to your benefit. Some experts suggest introducing yourself to your top choices first and then interviewing your other choices in the middle of the day and returning to your top choices at the end of the day to thank them again for their time. Although this seems easy, you’ll also need to take into account the several others who may have the same top choices as you. So, remember to be flexible and stay on your toes.
Prepare for Interviews. Although an introduction isn’t exactly a traditional interview, it is still a minute or two for you to make an impression on an employer. Think about what you want to convey to this recruiter or representative of this company. Consider this a 1-minute commercial with the sole objective of selling YOU. More times than none, you won’t get a lot of talk time, but make the most of it and avoid improper mannerisms during this time period. Remember to retain eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and show enthusiasm. There is NO time for fidgeting, rocking, or chewing gum during this initial interaction.
Manage Your Time. Make the most of your job fair experience by managing all the intangibles. For example, don’t waste your time interviewing with a company or organization you know you have no interest in. This time could be better spent doing something else. If you did not prepare to speak to a company, eavesdrop on others’ conversations or grab some literature from their table, before making an introduction. And lastly, if a company is hiring Accountants and you’re interested in a job with the Marketing Department, don’t feel discouraged. Leave your information with the Recruiter, because you never know whose hands it can end up in.
Network. This is an easy one. Career fairs are of course about finding a job, but don’t sleep on the opportunity to build relationships. Not only are you offered the chance of building a relationship with company recruiters, but you can also network with your fellow job-seekers in terms of sharing information about job leads, companies, and their recruiting strategies and styles. There may also be professional organizations or recruitment agencies on hand at the fair, which are also good sources for networking. Learn more about networking here. (Insert Link)
Follow Up. Lastly, make sure you take the time to follow up with the recruiters who you’ve spoken to during the career fair. All these tips go to waste if you don’t follow this last one. You’d be surprised with the number of people who simply don’t follow up. In my personal opinion, following up is the measure between unsuccessful and successful, so make sure you’re on the winning side of the stick. At the end of the fair, Recruiters have spoken to several people, some memorable and some not, but you following up shows your determination and confirms that your intentions are to work for their company.
A staffing firm is almost always in attendance at a job fair. Don’t forget to check out Athena’s Job Search page for additional listings and email them your resume here. They’ll be able to keep you updated on opportunities they are in connection with, straight from their clients.