The job fair is not a dead issue as some may want to make you think.
Although Job Fairs can be overcrowded, overwhelming, and full of long lines, they remain to be a place where you can find a number of employers all in one place. Use this to your advantage. Network among the company representatives. You never know. you may make a connection to your next job.
2 Key factors to consider before deciding to attend a Job Fair
- Make sure companies you are interested in are attending.
- Do your online researches to ensure attending companies actually have open positions in your career field? If so, apply online in advance.
If participating companies have none of the above, stay home and hustle in another direction.
What you have to do at job fairs is impress the Company Representatives
Keep in mind the company HR prepared to come to the fair for a reason…find candidates, exposure and/or pipe-lining for qualified candidates. And, they have paid for the table. When they return to the company, the reps will have to account for “the spend”. For this very reason, they may consider someone they meet for a position.
In order to have impact and connect you must to do the following.
1. Get there early. Early birds avoid the crowds and are more memorable.
2. Be prepared to answer questions. If there are not many people at a booth, a Representative may ask you questions about your background. There’s nothing worse than stepping over your words. Be prepared.
3. Have good clean copies of your resume on hand to give to Representatives.
4. Have a 2-sentence elevator pitch as to why they should be interested in you.
5. Look good. Best advice is to dress for success. Wear professional attire.
6. Collect Business Cards from Hiring Managers. Why? So that you can follow-up and inquire about open positions.
One more point: Keep in mind a Company Representative may not be able to accept your hard copy resumes and will ask you to apply online. Go home and do it.
Good luck on your job search.