By Pat King
Metro.us, November 1, 2018 —
Come prepared to have informal chats with the people who would normally be conducting your interviews if your application was accepted online.
A handshake might be the only thing between you and your dream job.
The job search is tough for everyone. Just motivating yourself to go on different job search sites to submit your resumes and perfectly fine tuned cover letters into the faceless void can certainly sink your spirits after not hearing anything back for weeks. This is why job fairs can be such a great help in your search for a job.
At job fairs, you will be able to learn what certain companies are looking for in their candidates from the people who are hiring directly. By printing out a few copies of your resumes to give out on your visit, you can come prepared to have informal chats with the people who would normally be conducting your interviews if your application was accepted online. By approaching the application process this way, you can eliminate preparing the sales pitch that you normally would write up to recite in your interview, and get to know each company for what it is from the people who work there every day.
This kind of “learning from the horse’s mouth” approach is the perfect way to make a good impression on a human resources company who is actively looking to fill positions. And think about it this way: when you are attending these job fairs, you are the one who holds all of the cards in this scenario. They are looking for people to fill these positions and have gone through the trouble of setting this job fair up for that very reason.
So why sit at home scrolling through endless job posting after job posting online? Sure, that may be a necessary evil for many of the jobs out there. But, it doesn’t hurt to take an active approach to your job search by checking out a job fair near you. Who knows. Maybe your dream career is just one handshake away?
Here’s how to make the most out of a job fair
You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind to make the most out of the intense meet and greet.Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind to make the most out of the intense meet-and-greet.
Dress to impress
Think of this from a recruiter’s perspective — they meet hundreds upon hundreds of job seekers. (Antibacterial soap, anyone? Seriously.) Among a sea of navy and black suits in this corporate cattle call, strive to stand out. Look impeccable, right down to polished shoes, and add a splash of color to sparkle, like a red tie or a unique brooch.
Do your homework
Research companies ahead of time and peruse their current openings online. Find out more about what they do and why they’ve been in the news lately. Your ultimate goal, of course, is to land a job. Achieving that goal requires becoming knowledgeable about the company and expressing your genuine interest, not unlike preparing for a job interview. Consider the job fair a mini-interview, since you’ll score limited face time at employer booths.
Have a game plan
Decide upon your Top 3 potential employers and eagerly approach them first when your energy levels are high. Be specific and strategic with your conversation — if there’s an available opportunity online, mention it.
Condense your elevator pitch
Make your introduction as flawless and as succinct as possible. Time is of the essence, but how you express yourself is equally important. Say it confidently, look the recruiter in the eye and be enthusiastic!
Get contact info to follow up
Many recruiters will not give you their contact information because they want to avoid being bombarded by candidates. But you may still meet an occasional enthusiastic recruiter who welcomes emails — might as well ask for it.
Keep expectations in check
Remember, this is one step in the job search process — don’t rely on the job fair and following up as the only way to land a job. But if you strategize your game plan and execute properly, it can at least be one way open a door.