Dynamic Happenings

Making the Most of Job Fairs – 7 Smart Tips

July 31, 2014 Job Tips

Many job seekers believe that job fairs don’t work in today’s world, as online
job portals do most of the work of bringing together employers and applicants.
This is far from truth. Job fairs act as a great platform for the applicants to get real
face time with potential employers looking to hire the new talent.

While attending a job fair, you have two choices – (a) Take the job fair casually; drop
off your resume with a number of participants only to never hear from them again or (b) Get serious about the fair and see it as an opportunity to showcase your employability to prospective employers. For those of you who choose the latter, here are a few quick tips to make the most of job fairs.

1. Come Prepared - Take a look at the list of participants. When you have a guide of the participating employers, you can narrow down the employers you are interested in connecting with. As a matter of fact, you should prepare a list of specifically targeted questions for them. This will not only give you an opening conversation to interact with them but will also help you set the right impression.

2. Be Professional – As a job seeker, more than anything else, you need to look professional. Your attire and attitude should reflect the level of your experience. Remember, unpolished shoes, wrinkled ties and inappropriate artifacts are a big no in job fairs. Present yourself as a prospect, well acquainted with the industry.  Consider a career fair as an opportunity to put your research into practice.

3. Gear Up for an Interview - Some employers might be conducting
on- spot interviews at the fair. Be proactive. Make a list of the commonly asked interview questions and plan on answering them creatively. Interviews conducted in job fairs are usually short and revolves around the candidate’s introduction, career objectives, interest in the company, strengths and weaknesses and past achievements.

4. Carry Copies of Your Resume - You should bring a few copies of your printed resume so that you can submit it to multiple employers.

5. Create Your Network - Job fairs are a great opportunity for job seekers to expand their professional network. At job fairs, you get to meet and interact not only with recruiters but also with your contemporaries and seniors who are already employed by reputed organizations. Encourage meaningful conversations with them, and gain valuable career advice from them. Remember to get their business cards and drop them an introductory email.

6. Show Up First, Stay Longer - You may have heard the famous saying, “Early bird catches the prey”. This is especially true for job fairs. Arriving early at the career fair not only saves you from waiting for your turn but also gives you quality time with employers in a relaxed environment.

7. Close the Conversation Smartly – The most important part of a story is how it ends. A job fair is no different! As a smart candidate, you need to close the conversation with the prospective employer in such a way that leaves a lasting impression on him. Ask him if a consecutive interview can be arranged.

Keep in Mind

After a job fair, you should send a thank you email to the participant employers. Don’t shy away from doing a follow up. It is in fact a great way to help you stand out from the rest of the candidates.

A job fair is an ideal point of contact between the employers and job seekers. With the job market increasingly becoming competitive, prompt communication is the key ingredient towards getting an interview. As a job seeker, if you act smart, communicate clearly and make the right impression on the employers in the fair, you will increase your chances of landing that dream job.

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