Succeeding at Job Fairs

Job fairs offer people in search of a job a convenient way to meet with multiple employers in the same day. However, job fairs have become not just a valuable resource for people looking for jobs, but also a great way for companies to look for prospective employees. This adds some "pressure" to those in search of a job, because every time you make a connection at a job fair, there’s a very good chance the employer was giving you a mini-interview. 

For the corporate recruiter, job fairs offer a chance to interview the highest number of prospects in the shortest amount of time. So, it’s important not to walk into a job fair without giving off a good first impression to each employer you meet.

Job fairs are a crucial aspect of career assessment. By going to these events, you will be able to compare various career options to decide which one is best for you. You can also talk to people to find out which jobs have the highest rate of growth. By talking to recruiters, you may find job opening that are not available to the general public. If you want to succeed in finding a good career, you will want to make job fairs an important part of your career selection strategy.

The Arrival and Route

Many people, when hitting a job fair, tend to have an urge to start throwing their resumes all over the place the instant they arrive. Its better to plan an organized route before you hit the booths, however, and many experts agree that the best plan is to start in the back and finish in the front. The main reason for this is that you’ll be hitting fresh recruiters right off the bat. Further, since most people start in the front, many of them never even get to the booths in or near the back.

So, you’re more likely to be remembered by these employers, since they won’t meet with as many people as those positioned in or near the front. Therefore, make sure to arrive at the job fair early to enhance all these advantages.

Your Spiel

Since getting picked for a job is all about being unique and setting yourself apart from other candidate’s, and since first impression is the key, the most important thing you can do when hitting a recruiter’s fair booth is to open up with an atypical line. A recruiter can only hear the generic request for info about their company so many times without losing interest in why he/she is there. So, be creative and come up with a conversation starter that gets the recruiter’s attention and gives them reason to be interested in talking to you.

For instance, "Hi, I’m a multi-linguist whose eyes were very much opened to what your company has to offer," gives valuable information about yourself along with feeding the ego of the employer. From there, no matter what conversation takes place, three important habits to pick up is to keep eye contact with the recruiter, communicate clearly, and don’t monopolize their time.

The Follow-up

There are several ways you can follow up with recruiters you meet at a job fair. Before leaving a job fair, you can make sure to return to the booth of any employer you have interest in. Without interrupting them or cutting in front of someone else, walk up to the recruiter and thank them for their time. Inform them that you’ll be in touch and that you look forward to speaking with them again. This small step will make the difference between the employer remembering you and not remembering you when you do call them later, especially if they’ve met with many people that day.

Or, that day, you can call the office number of the recruiter that’s listed on their business card. They’ll obviously be out of the office, but chances are they’ll check their messages after the job fair, so ask to be put through to their voicemail. In your message, thank them and let them know your interest and even why you think you’d be great for the job. Schedule a time that you’ll call them to arrange an appointment, and then make sure to call at that time. This is a great way to set yourself apart from other job fair prospects, because the majority don’t even follow up. 

Another strategy that can prove effective is to attach a small note to your resume and leave both items with the recruiter at the end of the day, even if you’ve already dropped off your resume with them when you initially met. Some recruiters, at the end of the day, will go through resumes and make notes on candidates of interest, so a note might very well put you in that category.

Editorial Team at Geekinterview is a team of HR and Career Advice members led by Chandra Vennapoosa.

Editorial Team – who has written posts on Online Learning.

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