How can a Careers Fair help you in finding a job?
Career fairs are one of many great ways for exploring career options and looking for employment/internship opportunities. Read these 5 tips to prepare yourself for the next career fair.
1. Where, when, what, who and why:
This is certainly the core information you require about the career fair. Where and when is it being held? You don’t want to turn up at the wrong place at the wrong time. What is it about? Is it an industry specific fair like IT, engineering, marketing or just a general fair. Fairs not specific to your industry can still be beneficial and it is worthwhile checking them out. Who will be there and why do you want to attend? Again, vital information as knowing which companies are going to be there will allow you to research ones that you are interested in. Finding out about the management, the key people in the company, their culture, and what bring them to the careers fair will give you a head start when you meet them. Moreover, if you are aware of the recruiters and the hiring managers that are going to be there, you can make contact with them before actually seeing them in person. Set out your reasons for attending the fair and what you would like to achieve from it.
2. Get your collateral ready:
Now that you have done your research you know which companies are going to be present there and based on that information, you should prepare copies of your resume tailored to the employer you are targeting, keeping in mind the companys business, the industry in which it operates, making sure your resume is aligned with the companys requirements and field of work. One great tip to align your resume with the company requirement is to look for job posting by the company. It is ideal if you find a posted position that you are aiming for however, even other position will reflect the culture and soft skills they are looking for. You can go one step further by attaching a cover letter along with your resume. Remember that there are going to be thousands of job seekers attending the fair, many for the same purpose as you, hence you need to stand out from the crowd.
3. Prepare your question answer toolkit:
First impression is the last impression, especially in a career fair where an employer will meet hundreds of job seekers. Hence you need to prepare an elevator pitch that will catch an employer’s attention and trigger his curiosity to know more about you. Preparing a list of questions is also important to relate your interest in working for the company you are targeting. Furthermore, it is also to prepare answers to some common questions asked by employers/interviewers. This is important as many companies perform on-site interviews to judge a candidate. This is a unique opportunity as you, rather than only your resumes gets to speak for you.
4. Dress properly and have good manners:
Career fair is a pot of gold for a job seeker. But in all seriousness, it is a mini interview every time you meet an employer. Hence, you should dress like you are going for an interview. The safest bet is to dress smart casual and be well groomed. If you are planning on getting out of bed, poorly groomed and rocking up to the fair in a poor outfit, the regardless of how good your resume looks, you can discount your chances of getting that job. Infact you are better off applying online. Aside from the dress code, good manners are essential components forging first impressions. You should be polite and professional to everyone you meet; speak up clearly and have a good posture. Interpersonal skills are key in career fairs!
5. Be active:
Keep abreast of all career fairs happening in your country and participate in the ones that interest you. Remember that though a career fair may not lead to a job directly, it may do that indirectly. You will come across a number of people at a career fair, add them to you network and leverage your network for you job search. Attend mini seminars that take place on the sidelines of the career fairs.
Want to be CareerReady? Talk to IT Futures.