How to make the most of a job fair!!
This is the picture of a recently held job fair which was conducted at University of Arlington for newly graduated students. It was an excellent opportunity for all the job seekers to meet a bunch of employers under one roof, and at the same time it can be pretty overwhelming as well. Finding the right opportunity and cracking the interview within a short span of time can be stressful. Here are few points that can possibly help you impress employers present and help you make the most of a job fair.
Get complete list of employers: Prepare a list of employers participating in the career fair from your University Career Center and possibly have them listed in the order of your preference. Plan to approach the companies higher up on your list first. You may not get time to get to all companies and this way your time can be well spent.
Research about the company: The more you know about the company the more fruitful will be the conversation between you and the employer. Ask about a recent change or news about the company that you read which helps you show your interest with them and they will be more likely to remember you.
Dress professional: You might not be actively looking for jobs, might only graduate after six months or one year, but you still want to have a feel of job fair. That does not mean that you should stop by dressed casually. Create your first impression by wearing a professional attire, it can be business casuals too. And if you are actively looking for jobs don’t take any chances. Wear an attire appropriate for the interview.
30 second Pitch: Job fairs are not about cracking an interview but rather about getting shortlisted and getting a interview call from a company later. Interviewer might not want to spend as much time as he would possibly do in an one on one interview process with you. So prepare a 30 second pitch where you can give a synopsis of your back ground and that way interviewer can be impressed and might want to know more about you. Rehearse your pitch before you get to the job fair.
Business Cards: You can have an elegant business card with your skill sets and networking profiles on the front and a mini resume on the back side of the card. When you compare it with a resume, chances of the employer holding on to and reading a business card is more.You can have free business cards printed (Vista Prints offers these) that can be cost effective and classy too. And remember to get a business card of each recruiter you connect with. That helps you network with them on social networking sites like LinkedIn and is also a nice way to make them aware that you are available. A good way to follow up!!.
Extra copies of resume: Resume is always your detailed summary of your portfolio and helps employers to see the specific skill set that you learned and leveraged in your career. Keeping extra copies is always better than not having one when someone asks for it.
Thank you Note: When you wind up your conversation with an employer representative in job fair ask for the next steps like when you should be expecting a call from them if you get shortlisted, when should you be following up with them etc. Act accordingly and always send a thank you note with a soft copy of your resume which helps them remember the discussion you had with them on the job fair.