Attending a job fair may not be as nerve racking as an interview but can be equally important to your job search. Job fairs are prime opportunities to connect with potential employers, as well as even interview for jobs on the spot. With the right planning, you can ensure your job fair has successful outcomes in expanding your professional network and landing your next position.
Here are ten tips you can use to ace your next job fair and stand out from the crowd:
1. Establish a goal or objective.
If you’re planning to attend a job fair, it’s safe to say you’re looking for a new job. However, it’s helpful to have a specific goal or objective in mind before going to the fair. For example, are you mainly interested in networking and introducing yourself to new employers? Or, are you planning to partake in on-the-spot interviews? Setting forth your intentions from the start will help you make the most of your time at each employer booth.
2. Preregister for the event.
While you can show up to any job fair without signing up ahead of time, it’s best to preregister. There are many benefits to preregistration, such as gaining access to the list of employers that will be at the fair. With this knowledge, you can research the organizations ahead of time and be prepared to discuss your qualifications accordingly.
3. Prepare tailored resumes.
It’s important to remember there will be many types of organizations and job opportunities represented at the job fair. Because of this, you’ll want to prepare at least a couple different versions of your resume to accommodate the various positions you may encounter.
It may surprise you that preparing for a job fair is similar to prepping for an interview. After reviewing the employers of interest to you, think about how you will discuss your education and experience with the hiring representatives. To prepare, you must think about how your specific skills and credentials align with the hiring goals of the respective employers.
5. Prepare for interview questions.
In many cases, your initial conversations with employers at a job fair can be just as important as interviews. Often, hiring reps will ask you questions similar to those of an interview to get a sense of you as a candidate and gauge whether you’re qualified for the positions they have available.
6. Come prepared with your own questions.
Take some time to research the companies that are attending the job fair. Coming prepared with a couple questions for the employers will show that you’re interested in learning more and take yourself and your job search seriously.
7. Dress for success.
No matter how casual a job fair may seem, it’s not the place to wear jeans and a T-shirt! Simply put, you’ll want to dress for a job fair as you’d dress for an interview. Depending on the type of job you’re seeking, generally business casual or semi-formal attire is best.
8. Take notes.
After each exchange you have with an employer, it’s helpful to take notes and capture your discussion points. This will allow you to better collect your thoughts after the job fair and, most importantly, write thank-you notes accordingly for the representatives whom you spoke with at the fair!
9. Write thank-you notes.
Without a doubt, it’s important you follow up with the recruiters and hiring managers you met at the job fair. Not only does this demonstrate a strong interest in the companies, but it is a great way to pass along your contact information as a follow-up to your initial exchange.
10. Reflect on and learn from the experience.
Job fairs can undoubtedly be overwhelming, as you’ll be exposed to dozens – if not hundreds – of employers and opportunities. After a job fair, take some time to reflect on the experience and how you presented yourself. Doing this type of reflection will prepare you for future interviews and help you focus on areas that need improvement, such as practicing your elevator pitch. With the right preparation, a job fair can be an extremely valuable experience for any job seeker. Putting the tips above into action will make you ready to conquer your next job fair with confidence and ease!
Carlton Staffing regularly attends job fairs throughout Houston and Dallas to meet local job seekers. Representatives from Carlton Staffing and Carltech will be at the Doubletree by Hilton on Market Center Blvd. in Dallas on Thursday, May 24. Register now for the event, and like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on our next job fair appearances.