A lot of people like to believe that job fairs are useless, something that is relevant for a time entirely different as compared to now. But if you ask experts, they will tell you it still matters and probably will in the future. Job seekers still try to go for career fairs so that they meet new people, build new networks of communication and increase their chances of landing a good job. It is also a good opportunity for them to learn about different companies. Meeting and interacting with the recruiters from face to face still happens to be a very important part and to dismiss that would be mistake. Here are some ideas that would help you make the most out of job fairs.
Tips to Get the Most Out of Career Fairs:
1. Devise a good plan:
The first thing you need to do is come up with a good plan. Know about which employees you would like to connect to in the future and set them as a target or a priority. But also prepare yourself with some more resumes at the same time. When you are at the job fair, maximize your time and keep a snack with yourself to energize yourself and keep it going.
2. Dress just the way you would for an interview:
What you wear is also highly important. Job fairs happen to large events where there are going to be a lot of people and you will have to make a good impression with a fine outfit. If you are not dressed up in a professional manner, it might give you a negative impression. Do know that all employees are going to notice details when they see you for the first time. There will be people who might complain about a tie that is too wrinkled or jewellery that is too shiny. So dress appropriately.
3. Get to know about the companies:
A third thing you should do to maximize your time at the job fairs is getting to know more about the companies. The first complaint we often get to hear from employees these days is that people simply do not know much about the companies. And that none of them took the time to even learn about them. The more you learn about these organizations and the kinds of positions they are willing to hire, it will be better for your knowledge and benefit in the future.
4. Don’t ask certain kinds of questions:
A fourth thing you should remember to do is to refrain from asking certain kinds of questions. You should not ask your boss what kind of positions are they willing to offer or how much are they paying their employees. Also please don’t ask something like what is their organization about. The answer to this question can be found in Google when you search for the company by its name. So relax and focus on things that aren’t available in the internet. Be smart with your questions. Don’t waste any opportunity.
5. Know that this is a networking opportunity:
Since you are a job seeker, try to create a good impression in front of others by collecting as many business cards as you possibly can. Then when you have the time to apply for the right position, make sure to try and stand out by using it as a reference in your cover letter or even your introductory email. Believe it or not, it always works. So when you are at the job fair, do not forget that this is a networking opportunity and that you have to maximize your time here. Start collecting business cards fast!
6. Listen to what people have to say around you:
Another thing you should remember to do is keeping your ears open. Listening can help you learn a lot in life. So when people are talking about something important, zip your mouth and pay attention to what they are saying. You can pick up a lot of ideas from this one. In fact, you could gather more knowledge about a topic you didn’t have any idea about. When others are in a conversation, try to engage less and allow them to speak more.
7. Have some enthusiasm:
Being enthusiastic always helps. This is really not the time to be laid back, casual and cool. According to most experts, you should express your eagerness with a firm handshake or a nod or even a smile. Also make friendly and intelligent conversation with the people around. That is a major seller. Do remember that a company recruiter might not be a counsellor. So there is no need for you to discuss anything about the job search you have currently. You should focus on your talents and link them to the organizations.
8. Be ready to answer questions that are related to you:
There are many employers who will begin a question like “tell us something about yourself!” and that always matters. In cases like these, you have to be ready with a good answer. So make sure to rehearse well at home. There is no way you want to stumble in a situation like this. So be alert and aware. Make sure your words are concise. Speak about the skills you have and the kinds of jobs you have done in the past and how has this helped you. If you aren’t working anywhere and are asked about it, you could say something like “my recent company was…” and move on.
9. Try to become the wow factor:
Another thing you should remember to do is try to become the wow factor. That is always a good seller. Remember that an employer is meeting thousands of candidates on a regular basis and he is always in search of someone who has a plus point. So when you are speaking to a employer, tell them about your unique story, your career accomplishments and what makes you so different from the rest of the crowd. The extra effort that you make will always get noticed.
Now this is one strategy that will definitely help you in the long run. Once the job fair is done, make sure to follow it up with an email. This is why collecting business cards are so important. Job fairs are a wonderful way to discover about new companies. So once you have done that, make sure to email all of these guys showing that you would like to keep in touch and get some career advice in the future. If you have questions, you may also ask them. This will help you build networks too.
11. Send online applications:
A final thing you should remember to do is sending online applications. When you set a couple of employers as your target, make sure that you don’t just research on the website of the company but also the job listings page. Only after that you should send online applications. In that way, you can always tell the employer at the job fair that you have already sent applications. This could be a very big advantage for you and will definitely help you land a very good organization in the future.
12. Be full of courtesy:
Another thing we should tell you to do is maintaining a friendly, polite and cordial behaviour when you are at a job fair. When you are representing yourself, you should be at your best. No excuses! Enjoy the fair when you are attending and let the positive attitude be shown. Keep the questions brief and offer them to continue with the conversation any other time.
13. Don’t go in a pack:
Never go with friends as a group! Or even if you are, split up and separate yourself. This will help you guys focus on the job better. This will also make you come across as individuals who are independent and can handle job fairs like professionals.
14. Make notes:
Finally you should remember to make important notes. Once you have met all the employers, stand aside and write down all your impressions. What makes the companies so different from the others? Which company would suit and appreciate you the best? How can your skills be utilized to the organization? Will working here help you improve yourself over time? The answers will tell you what to do next.
This completes the list of tips and ideas you should definitely implement in order to make the most out of a job fair. If you have any questions or doubts related this, please let us know by leaving a comment below. Also if you have some opinions to share with us, let us know. We would love to know how much this article has benefitted you. If you are a fresher and haven’t attended a job fair yet, make sure to give this article a good read. On that note, good luck and here’s hoping that you find the best job and that your future is secure.