When you’re in the market for a job, one of the things you should do is attend a job or career fair. Not only will you be learning a lot of stuff there, but you will also be getting to meet recruiters and top executives that you might not have met otherwise. However, meeting them is not as important as getting it right, and that is why these tips for career and job fair success will come in handy for you.
How to Guarantee Your Career and Job Fair Success
1 Do Your Research
Before going to the job fair at all, do your research to find out the companies that will be coming.
It is not unusual for companies to pre-register booths that they will be using at the fair, so you can have an idea of who is coming. From there, notice the companies that are hiring people with your skillset and prepare adequately to meet them.
2 Early Birds
As with most events, everyone usually has a bubble of energy around them in the early hours. You want to meet the recruiters when they are in their best spirits, so arriving early would do you a whole lot of good.
Be prepared to answer straight-forward questions from some recruiters, fill out forms for employers and go through the rest of the motions as they come.
3 Develop, and practice your elevator pitch
If you do not know what an elevator pitch is, we have simplified it and given tips on how to create a killer one here. If you’ve got one, refine it as best as you can and practice it.
That you’ve been saying it a lot of times does not mean you don’t need any more practice. You’ll be meeting top executives, so we don’t need to tell you how much the excitement can make you forget
4 Dress Comfortably
We know that you know to dress professionally already, but make the outfit something comfortable too. Job fairs can be emotionally and physically draining. You don’t want to add the discomfort of your wears and shoes to the grueling of the day.
5 Bring Your Arsenal
Don’t forget anything at home, and don’t overdo it too. When we talk about your arsenal, these include your resumes, cover letters, business cards (with your full name and contact information on them), writing materials, etc.
You will want to bring extra copies of your credentials too. There is no telling how many people you will be able to successfully network with before the day goes to an end
6 Attend the Workshop
Most job fairs will offer workshop experience as part of the package. If that is the case, go for it. On the one hand, you’ll be gaining an extra credit for your resume, and on the other, having a better opportunity to network with smaller groups at a time.
To learn more about effective networking, you can read our piece on that topic.
7 Be Interested
Showing interest and enthusiasm is one of the fastest ways to get noticed. Many are just at these fairs to cram their resumes into the hands of hiring managers, who are also expecting it.
What they don’t expect much of is people with a genuine interest in what is going on. That is why they are going to be on the lookout for your kind – consciously or subconsciously.
8 Collect Business Cards
Don’t just give out your information. People can get too busy to connect later. Collect their business cards and contact information too. That would go a long way when you decide to…
9 Follow Up
It is advisable that you leave a time window of 48 hours after the career/ job fair before reaching out to anyone at all. The excitement would have worn off, and you’ll be almost sure the individual you’re reaching out to has settled into their routine lives again – which is the best time to get them.
Be subtle, gently reminding them of who you are (so they don’t discard you as spam) and taking a genuine interest in them.