Attending a Jobs Fair? If you are looking for a job at the moment, it is likely that you have tried all the usual routes – the online job sites, the newspapers and perhaps speculatively contacting companies directly.One other route though which can be worthwhile considering is the Jobs Fair.
In your area these may be organised by the local University, Chamber of Commerce or perhaps the Jobcentre directly. They will usually be advertised online, in local press and on local radio and perhaps also even through fly-posting. To all intents and purposes a Jobs Fair is really an exhibition for companies and organisations of all sizes to promote the job and careers opportunities that they currently have.To make the most of attending a Jobs Fair from a job hunting perspective, here are our basic Top Tips.
Do your research
Before attending a jobs fair, you will usually be able to find out from the organisers who the exhibitors are, or most of them at least. Have a look and see which of these companies in particular you are most interested in and do your research on them. The more knowledgeable you appear to be about them, the more likely you are to impress one of the company representatives.
Dress Code Matters
It may not be as formal an environment as an interview and there is no strict dress code, however it will still be advantageous for you to dress smartly. You are there after all to try and impress potential future employers and dressing in your most casual or outlandish getup is not likely to help you do that.
Employers will have prepared for the Jobs Fair by bringing all types of company literature and promotional information to hand out to prospective job seekers. However, you too need to prepare by bringing sufficient copies of your CV to give to prospective employers. There may of course be employers there too who will not accept a CV and instead ask you to complete an application form. Perhaps bring with you copies of old application forms to help you fill out the form quickly. Also, it may sound common sense – but make sure you bring a pen ! You know how it goes – you can never find a pen when you really need one.
Yes, the dreaded “networking”. Most of us hate doing this, but it is really essential at a Jobs Fair, You are there to introduce yourself, and meet people who could potentially benefit you by giving you a job or new opportunity. Don’t just wander around aimlessly. Speak to people and use every opportunity you can to “sell” yourself, without appearing too in your face or desperate.
Keep an open mind
It’s all too easy when you go to a Jobs fair to be drawn to the biggest employers, or those with the biggest exhibition stands or who seem to be giving away the best freebies – pens, mugs, whatever. However, you should try not to dismiss the companies you may never have heard of, or who have perhaps a much smaller presence. You may find that these companies could offer you much more beneficial and rewarding opportunities. Don’t just go for the big guys.
At a typical Jobs Fair an employer may meet hundreds or even thousands of people in a day. To help you be one of the people who stands out, it is really beneficial to follow up after the Jobs Fair is over. Get in contact with the person you spoke to on the day, via email or phone and thank them for taking the time to speak to you, and reiterate the fact that you are interested in their current or future opportunities. Following up on a meeting like this quite promptly after the event will both re-confirm your interest in them as an employer but will also help give you a bit of an edge over other Jobs Fair attendees.
These of course are some basic guidelines to help you get the most out of attending a Jobs Fair. We would love of course to hear what tips you might have. Feel free to let us know via the comments section below.