If you are looking for a job, what could be better than meeting several employers, all looking to fill multiple positions, in one room and for the express purpose of finding potential candidates? It’s a win-win for you and the employers.
But, sometimes it can be intimidating to walk into a room full of hiring managers, especially if you have never been to a job fair. It’s essentially the same as doing a lot of mini job interviews. Going in prepared is a major boost to your confidence. We have listed the best practices for taking full advantage of job fairs.
RESUME, RESUME, RESUME
The resume is still the best way to quickly communicate your skills, education, and experience. If you are lacking in education, but have a wealth of experience, try a chronological resume that lists all your jobs first. If you have great skill but lack in experience, try a functional resume, which lists your talents and skills instead of your job experience.
Go with simple, but interesting formatting. A plain Word doc will just blend in with the rest. Make it pop, but also make it easy to read and succinct.
Bring a folio full of printed resumes to the job fair. Check the list of companies that are attending, and bring enough for all of them, plus ten. Sometimes you will feel the need to pass one to every person at the booth, especially if you really like the company. Also, there are often last minute employers that show up, and you don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute if you really want to work for them.
For more on resumes and various obstacles, read this.
Dress to Impress
Again, this might seem like an old-fashioned practice, but it’s still a major factor in hiring. If you show up wearing your old high school gym shirt and board shorts, employers will feel that you didn’t care that much about impressing them, and they will likely write you off. Even if the company has a relaxed dress code, how you are perceived compared to other job seekers is important at a job fair.
You don’t have to wear your father’s suit and tie or your mother’s pearls and heels, but think carefully about how you want to be viewed in this critical environment.
For more tips on how to dress, read this.
Talk to Everyone
Even if the employer’s banner doesn’t excite you, you may be surprised at what the company has to offer you. If it’s a fast food company, don’t assume that they are looking for bottom-rung employees. Often, they are looking for professional positions at job fairs, or they wouldn’t have invested in the space. Maybe the company culture is exactly what you have been dreaming of, so it’s worth a few minutes of your time.
Want to see what local jobs are out there? Check out our job board!