Job Fairs (Just ASK!)
Job Fairs are a great way to delve into the “Knocking” phase of Just ASK! They can be productive if you put together a game plan before you go. Where else can you get direct access to so many potential employers within a span of an hour or two? We will address things you can do to prepare before attending a job fair, what to do once you are there, how to make the best use of your time and get the most out of your attendance, and how to follow-up with employers afterward.
What Recruiters Are Looking For
Recruiters are the people who are representing employers at job fairs. Here is a list of the main things they are looking for in potential candidates:
- Upbeat personality – enthusiasm!
- Professional demeanor and dress
- A firm handshake
- Good eye contact
- Interest in learning new things
- Candidates who took the time to research their organization and ask good questions
- Focused résumé – clear goals with relevant skills and accomplishments
- Confident attitude – candidates who will be an asset to the employer
Your Strategy Before the Job Fair
Before attending a job fair take some time to peruse the list of employers that will be at the job fair and the kinds of positions they are recruiting for. Put together a list of employers you want to talk to during the fair. Research each employer’s website to learn about them and the positions available within their company.
Create an ‘A’ and ‘B’ List of Employers. ‘A’ list employers are those you are extremely interested in. ‘B’ employers are those you have some interest in. Make a note of one thing that impresses you about each employer.
Put together your 30-Second Commercial prior to the job fair. Practice it so you are comfortable saying it. This is a brief introduction of yourself to an employer that communicates the type of position you are looking for, your key strengths, background and skills, and what impresses you about the employer.
Bring Plenty of Resumes. If you are planning to speak with 10 employers, for example, plan to bring at least 15-20 résumés. You will probably talk to employers you hadn’t planned on visiting with.
Wardrobe. Clothing is usually the first choice for most people so put some thought into what you will wear to the job fair. Recommended attire for most professional positions includes:
- For Men: suit or jacket with slacks and tie.
- For Women: suit with pants or skirt, or a tailored dress with jacket
Questions. Write down questions you want to ask recruiters and bring the questions with you to the job fair. Be prepared to answer their questions—you will go through a brief screening interview.