Getting the Most from Career Fairs
Posted January 11, 2013on:
A career fair (also call job fair) is an event where you can talk to recruiters and hiring managers from many different companies at once. Some may be looking to hire right away, and some may not. But it’s a great opportunity to meet professionals and get your name in front of people in your field as part of your job search . Here’s a short list of tips to help you make a good impression.
- 1. Dress nicely. Every employer you talk to is like a mini interview. So dress like you’re going to an interview. It’ll help you look more professional.
- 2. Bring multiple copies of your résumé. You’ll be talking to a lot of people, so make sure you have a stack of copies of your résumé resume ready to hand out.
- 3. Prepare your “elevator pitch.” Your “elevator pitch” is how you sum up your value as an employee in one minute or less. Write it ahead of time and practice it until it flows naturally.
- 4. Arrive early. Plan time to park and get checked in, so you’re ready the minute the event starts.
- 5. Be assertive and enthusiastic. Look them in the eye when you shake hands, and remember to show a positive attitude. This is no place for complainers.
- 6. Keep cool. Don’t let the crowds get to you. Smile, be polite and focus on the benefits of being there.
- 7. Network. Don’t just keep to yourself. Talk with people. Introduce yourself. Visit all the employers’ tables. You might discover something new.
There are some companies that have job fairs scheduled throughout the year. National Career Fairs, for example, runs fairs at over 300 locations. Other organizations, such as LI Works, have an event once or twice a year. Still others, including Women for Hire, focus on a particular audience.
Remember, you might not land a job that day. The goal is to meet people and get your name out there. And it’s great practice for interviews. Good luck!