Getting Prepared for Job Fairs
Job fairs have great potential with a gathering of many employers, which means you have multiple opportunities to meet recruiters and share why you’re right for the job. What you might not realize is that it’s also a modern-day stage and you’re one of the star players. From the moment you enter the room, you and your actions are on display. Think of it as a job interview on steroids. People throughout the room are watching how you initiate and conduct conversations, gauging your interest in a company or a role.
Job Fair Preparations
- Conduct research on what companies will be at the job fair
- Practice your elevator speech and interview skills
- Arrive with multiple proofread resumes
- Bring prior employment dates, names and numbers for filling out applications
- Dress appropriately based on the expectations of the job fair
- Give yourself plenty of time to visit with each company
- Relax and be comfortable
- Lead and close with good manners
Plan the Route
Knowing this, don’t make a rookie mistake of using the job fair as a place to wander from booth to booth. This is a wasted opportunity. Walk in the door with a list of who you want to talk to, knowing each company’s available jobs and have your elevator pitch ready. Once you’re there, it’s up to you to make the most of the limited time with each employer in the room.
Consider your entrance as the first impression you make with everyone. In as little as seven seconds, people form a judgment with assessments on confidence, clothing and the person’s general comfort level in the situation. Seemingly small things like a rumpled appearance, juggling too many bags or rushing around send subtle signals you’re not prepared for the situation and are not a serious candidate.
Nail the Approach
By the time you reach the booth, these impressions can make or break a meeting so proceed with confidence. Approach the recruiter and introduce yourself with a smile, eye contact, and a firm handshake. Simple gestures like this show you’re ready for a serious conversation. This is also where your prior research into who will be at a job fair is an advantage. Use what you’ve discovered in your research to start a conversation and establish your interest in the company and what they do.
Sharing what you know and asking good questions establishes your potential as a quality candidate. Conclude the conversation by emphasizing your interest in a role with the company and share your resume with the recruiter. For an added touch, ask for a business card and follow up after with a thank you note. This serves as a reminder of your conversation and an opportunity to thank the recruiter for their time.
Find a new position in 2019 by working with the recruitment experts at Staffing Kansas City and take advantage of possible opportunities at these upcoming job fairs.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and contract employment placement services.