Success at job fairs is all about the impression you make. Use these tips to leave recruiters and potential future employers with the idea that you are the candidate they’ve been looking for.
- Do your research.
Research participating companies, so you are perceived as knowledgeable and interested.
- Create a prioritized list of companies that best match your skills and goals. Then, you can plan to visit these employers first. Have an ample supply of resumes, tailored to each opportunity. This helps you to stand out as a serious applicant.
- Learn details about your targeted employers. Familiarize yourself with their products and services, their mission, related new and developments, and their top clients and competitors. Be prepared to impress them with your initiative.
- Look and act the part.
Career fairs give you an opportunity to be evaluated on more than just your resume. You can showcase your best qualities in person, starting the moment you walk into the room.
- Dress for the job you are seeking. Pretend that the job fair is your actual interview. Your attire should be appropriate and conservative.
- Your body language should convey your interest. Show your confidence and look assertive. Have a firm handshake, and use it both before and after you speak with a recruiter. Maintain eye contact the entire time you are speaking with someone. If you let your eyes wander, it may draw a recruiter’s attention away from your message.
- Have your elevator speech ready. This is the 60-second message that you use to introduce yourself, present your career aspirations, and tell how you could be of value to an employer. You may not have a lot of time at a job fair table, so this will help you to make the most of it.
- Mix and mingle.
Job fairs are great venues for networking and building professional relationships. Circulate!
- Talk with as many people as possible. Even if a company doesn’t offer exactly what you’re looking for, you never know who a company representative may know or be able to refer you to.
- Ask thoughtful questions.
Come prepared with relevant questions that show your interest in employers and your desire to learn more. For instance:
- Ask about a typical day on the job. Find out as much as you can about a company’s culture and work environment, so you can determine if a job would be a good fit for you.
- Don’t ask questions that you could answer by looking at the company website. You should already know all these answers as part of your advance research.
- Follow up.
You can really stand out from the competition by following up with those you meet at job fairs. Collect business cards and other contact information before you leave.
- Send personalized thank-you notes. Try to share something specific about your conversation that will trigger a person’s memory of you. Reiterate your interest in a company or position – and how you could contribute and add unique value if hired.
- Connect with recruiters via LinkedIn. This is another great way to maintain ongoing relationships.
Consider working with a job search expert from CPS Recruitment as you take your career to the next level – via job fairs and at every step of the process. Reference our resource center or contact us today to learn more.