Become a Pro at Job Fairs

by sysop in Looking for a Job

5 Tips for Maximizing Your Experience

by Kristina Burroughs

Simply showing up for a job fair is not enough. Many job seekers make the mistake of showing up to job fairs with a stack of generic resumes, approaching recruiters with no focus, and expecting a sales pitch from the organization. It is vital to plan and prepare to talk with those organizations you are most interested in. Most job fair organizers will send you a list of the employers who will be present – so take advantage and do your homework before you show up! If you really want to stand out from the pack, research the job openings that particular organization has open and tailor your resume accordingly. Treat the recruiter or representative as if you were genuinely interested in them and intent on working for their organization.

Here are five tips to help you make your next job fair more productive:

  1. Know what you want.  Or at least have a general idea of the type of work you want to do. DO NOT approach the recruiter and ask them to explain every position they have open.
  2. 30 Seconds. DO NOT approach the recruiter expecting a sales pitch. Introduce yourself, tell them how you heard about their organization and state the purpose of why you’ve chosen to talk to them in 30 seconds or less.
  3. Remember your transferable skills. DO NOT assume that the recruiter you’re talking to is an expert in your field of experience. Don’t pigeon hole yourself by neglecting to talk about the transferable skills you possess along with explaining the general direction you want to move in your career.
  4. Monopoly is a good game – not a career plan. DO NOT monopolize the recruiters time when you see a long line forming behind you. Practice your own “elevator pitch” that embodies what you’re looking for and highlights your skill sets.
  5. Consult the clock. DO NOT show up at the tail  end of the designated job fair hours and approach recruiters as they are packing up the table and insist they talk with you. They may have a tight schedule and need to get to their next appointment. Often times, the job fair organizers ask recruiters to break down the room quickly to prepare for the next event.

Do your homework and be prepared. If you follow these simple tips, you are likely to find your job fair experience more fruitful – and recruiters will be more likely to enjoy theirs as well.