How to get the most out of a job fair
Job fairs are an excellent way to meet multiple employers at once. Many focus on a specific industry or job type. Some job fairs also provide other services to job seekers, such as CV reviews, workshops, and networking opportunities. They also tend to draw a crowd.
So how do your stand out from all the other candidates a potential employer may meet during a job fair? A little forward planning can make a big difference.
Before the event, look at the organisations that will be at the fair. Take note of any companies you are interested in and do a little research so that you can ask appropriate questions. Practice a quick summery of your skills and experience so you can introduce yourself with confidence. Bring copies of your CV and a pen, plus any other information you may need to fill out applications.
Appearance may seem like a shallow concern but first impressions do count. Dress to show that you’re taking your job search seriously. If you are not sure how to dress, choose simple, conservative lines.
Keep in mind that lines can be long, so arrive early – before the fair officially opens. Job fairs often close promptly so be sure to allow enough time to see all of the companies you have researched and plan to talk to.
Attend a workshop
If the job fair has workshops or seminars, attend them. It’s a great opportunity to learn new things, get job search tips and to network. Whoever you talk to, stay positive, even if you’ve had some disappointments or the fair is not how you imagined it would be.
Organisations see a lot of candidates at job fairs so those who have done their research about the company and ask relevant questions are more likely to stand out in the crowd. Relevancy is key. Don’t waste recruiters’ time with questions that show you haven’t done any research.
Take contact information
Collect business cards and take notes on the back of the cards of the companies you are interested in. After the fair, use the contact information you have gathered to do further research. Send connect requests on LinkedIn.
Don’t forget to be polite. Recruiters attend job fairs to meet many candidates, so don’t monopolise the conversation. Show respect for the promotional materials the recruiters bring, and above all, thank the recruiters for their time.
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