So you’re going to attend a local job fair. These events are popular but are they worthwhile? Without approaching a job fair with a plan of action, you can get easily distracted by the crowds and free swag. However, there are ways to take the best advantage of a job fair with a little preparation ahead of time. Here are some tips to keep in mind at your next job fair event.
You make the decisions
A job fair shouldn’t feel like a cattle call where you’re herded through the crowd with thousands of other job seekers just like you. In fact, you’re the only one in complete control. When you arrive, check out the list of businesses attending and make a plan. Only visit the top companies on your list and present yourself professionally to them.
Pay Attention to First Impressions.
Before setting foot in the convention hall, consider this job fair just like any other interview. While you won’t have a chance to meet one on one with a recruiter or a hiring manager, you will be face to face with decision-makers for a short period of time. Dress professionally and create an elevator pitch. If you can convince them in 30 seconds to take another look, you’ve succeeded.
You will spend a lot of time at the job fair standing idly in line. Use this time to make connections. Talk to them about what they’re looking for and see if you can network while waiting to talk to potential employers. The more you help people within the community the better reputation you develop. Keep cards on hand to share with people you meet.
Follow Up the Next Day
Speaking of business cards, make sure you take one for everyone you speak with during the course of the event. The very next day, sit down and send out thank you emails referencing the conversation you had. This is your opportunity to make them remember you out of a sea of a thousand faces.
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