Job fairs have been a time-honored tradition in the job market, but are they really worth your time and effort? Job fairs can be distracting with the crowds of people and the multiple companies, most of which can’t help you with your specific job search needs. If you do hear of a job fair coming to your town, there are a few things you can do to maximize your experience there:
- Remember, it is your choice. Don’t feel like you are at the fair to be selected among thousands of other job seekers in a cattle call process by each of the attending companies. You should view the job fair from the opposite perspective. You are in control. When you arrive, look at the list of companies and determine which would offer the best fit for you. Then target only those tables.
- Make a great first impression. View the job fair like you would a conventional interview; just recognize that it will be much shorter in duration. Dress professionally and research your target companies before arriving at the fair. Develop your own “elevator pitch” to maximize your time with each employer. This 30 second script will give them the snapshot of you that they will remember when the job fair is over. Tell them who you are, why you fit with their company and what your skills will bring to the table.
- Use every opportunity. Introduce yourself to everyone when you have the chance. When you’re waiting in line, talk to the people around you. Find out why they are there and who they might be able to connect you to. Even other job seekers can have information that is useful to you. They might not be looking for a job in your specialty, but they might know a company does what you do.
- Follow up. When you are working your way through the fair, make sure you take a business card for every contact you make. That way, within the next few days you can write each individual a personalized email to reintroduce yourself and thank them for taking the time to speak with you. This might make the difference between remembering your resume and someone else’s.
Looking for more tips to maximize your job search? Contact CornerStone Staffing to tap into their network of resources.