They may be organised by your local jobcentre, Chamber of Commerce or even university, but regardless of the organiser, the thinking behind them is the same – to connect job-seekers with employers. What are we referring to? The job fair of course. If you are being truly proactive with your job search and there is a job fair near you, attending it is an absolute must. Of course, it’s not just about attending it, it’s also about helping you get that job. Here are 5 Ways to Get the Most out of a Job Fair that should help you do just that.
Research in advance
Generally job fairs are advertised for several weeks before they take place and organisers will promote the exhibitors and participating companies. It’s worthwhile therefore finding out in advance who will be in attendance – which companies or recruiters, what types of roles they will typically be advertising, do they have training schemes, internship programmes or expansion plans. Researching information like this in advance will help you prepare for the fair itself. You can identify in advance which employers particularly interest you and make a plan before you go of who you want to speak to. Having a bit of a structure like this will not only save you time on the day but will also make you appear a more focused attendee, rather than appearing to simply wander around randomly
It’s of course a given that there will be employers and recruiters at a job fair, all there to promote their organisations and to meet and source potential candidates for current and upcoming vacancies. It’s essential therefore to ensure that when they meet you, that you are prepared. Not only does that mean doing some research on them in advance so that you appear knowledgeable and interested when speaking with them, but it also means being fully prepared for what they may ask of you. Have plenty of copies of your CV with you to give to prospective employers and of course make sure that you have a notebook and pen to take down any notes or information that they tell you.
Dress the part
It’s not an interview and there is generally no particular formal dress code for a job fair, yet what you wear can still have an impact. The first impression that you make matters, therefore it’s important to make it a good one. It’s best to err on the side of caution and perhaps dress in a fairly conservative way. This will show a positive and professional image to potential employers and may actually help you stand out amongst other potential candidates.
The impression that a prospective employer will form about you is not just down to your attire of course. You will need to convey a confident and assured attitude. It’s important to believe in yourself and your abilities. Look on any engagement with employers as an interview of sorts. They will be much more inclined to be impressed by you if you appear as a credible candidate who could really bring value to their organisation. You should be personable, friendly and enthusiastic. Being able to form a rapport with a prospective employer is not only advisable, it’s a must.
You will most likely come away from a job fair with some business cards, company brochures as well as some free promotional goodies – pens, mugs and the like. However, the most important thing you will leave with is company contacts. You will have interacted directly with employers and recruiters and you should aim to continue that interaction. How? Well, the best thing would be to drop them an email, thanking them for giving you the opportunity to speak with them, for the information or advice that they gave you or to reiterate your interest in any roles you may have been discussing. This is not only courteous but it also is professional. It also will potentially help you stand out against other candidates that they may have met on the day.
We hope that these tips help when you’re next attending a job fair. Got any others that you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments section below.