Job fairs and recruiting events are still great resources for finding employment, even in these days of digital resumes and networking. Weeks and even months of networking, building relationships, and distributing resumes can be accomplished in the space of one day and in one place. And the personal, face-to-face connection still makes more of an impression than an impersonal digital one. Here are six tips to help you make the most out of your next job fair.
Research your targets.
You can almost always obtain an advance list of employers who are going to be present at the fair. Choose which ones you’re most interested in, and do your homework on the company, their reputation, and what positions they are likely seeking to fill.
Dress to make an impression.
It’s a mistake to take a job fair too casually. You’ll often see people at a fair dressed like they’re going to the gym. Dress the same as you would if you were arriving for an actual interview because, in many ways, you are.
Bring extra materials.
It’s better to have too many resumes and business cards than to run out when you need one. And of course always have spare pens and notepads.
Prepare your introduction.
You probably won’t have much time with each employer representative, so put some thought into your introduction and any questions you might have about the company and the position. It doesn’t hurt to type them out and rehearse.
Get there early.
You’ll be able to sign in and connect with the employers you want to meet before the crowds arrive, and probably have more time to network with each. Plus they’ll probably be in a better mood early on.
Follow up after the fair.
Take the time to send an email to the recruiters you’ve connected with. It will serve as a reminder of meeting you and demonstrate your interest in the position.