At job fairs or career fairs, companies come together so that interested candidates can visit and apply to more than one company in a single day at a single place.
In this setting, everybody wins as companies would have a better chance in finding a good candidate because of the increased number of applicants and the applicants can actually try out for as many companies as possible and select the one that suits them the best.
However, one must note that you simply cannot get in there and show them your resume and hope to be hired instantly. Here are some tips to survive in a job fair.
• Prepare a Spiel – Never show up in a job fair without the “elevator pitch”. An elevator pitch is a very short spiel that lasts less than a minute but packed with important information about yourself.
You should prepare this type of spiel since interviewers and head hunters in job fairs will more likely ask you this, “tell me something about yourself”.
If you stutter, you cannot get a good first impression. Since there are other better and prepared candidates, you might not get the job.
• Prepare as many resumes as you can – It is recommended to bring at least five copies of resume placed neatly in a folder. You can write something generic that would fit to the industry you are planning to work with.
Usually, career fairs are conducted for a specific industry. You do not have to write specific resumes and cover letters as long as write them according to the industry.
The challenge in writing resumes for job fairs is actually on the length of your resume as head hunters might be in a hurry that they will not notice your good points.
• Eat before attending a job fair – If you are planning to show up in a job fair that expects hundreds of applicants coming together, eat before you show up there. It does not matter if you are already late as you could still catch up.
Without any food in your stomach, you will not be able to think clearly. Plus with the long lines expected during job fairs, you will need as much energy as you can to stand and still think like a pro when interviewed by head hunters.
• Ask around – The tension is usually high in career fairs especially when you are a fresh graduate. But you can ease that tension easily when you are with someone you know or you when you find someone to talk to.
You can exchange information on the questions asked during the interview and compare notes on how to survive the job fair with a job.
You need to lighten up a little bit so that you can think clearly and not panic when your time has come to answer those questions.
A career fair is a great opportunity to find a good job. Prepare as much as possible so that you will have the confidence to answer questions and energy to go through the day.