Job Fairs are a great way to network. Job fairs are typically offered several times per year in larger cities. The promoters will take out large ads in the local newspaper and even advertise on local television stations. Job Fairs can be held at your local community college, also.
Job Fairs are a great way for companies to get a feel for the local job seeking market. It is very unusual for a company to hire an applicant right on the spot at the fair but it has been known to happen. Therefore, if you are a job seeker, check your local newspaper and ask around about a job fair. Some Job Fairs will advertise on the Internet as well so you could also search online. And don’t forget to check with the community college. You don’t have to be a student to benefit from these fairs.
Some of the things you need to do to prepare:
1. Look at the ad in the newspaper or on TV or online. Get a copy and really read it. Look at the companies that will be represented at the fair. Are they companies that you would consider working for?
2. Research the company or companies that peak your interest. Find out what they are all about. Take notes so that you know about the company and can be knowledgeable about them when you meet their representative at the fair.
3. Make sure that you plan enough time for meet and greet with the companies of interest. You don’t want to just run in and drop off a resume. You want to be able to introduce yourself; to make a good first impression. Remember, the people you meet are probably not the final say-so in the hiring process but they certainly do have inputs as to which resumes will receive the most consideration.
4. Take the time to pick out an interview outfit and take care of other grooming issues. If you need a haircut, get one. Make sure that you are putting your best foot forward.
5. Check and recheck your resume. Check for formatting and spelling errors. Is your resume up-to-date? Make sure you have plenty of copies of your resume.
6. Create a list of your references – both business and personal and have plenty of copies of it to hand out with your resume.
7. Purchase a professional looking case to carry your resumes, cover letters, letters of recommendation, references and so on. Include a notepad and pen so that you can take notes, if needed.
On the day of the Job Fair, get there early when the company representatives are bright, cheery and refreshed instead of late in the day when they are tired and just want to get off their feet. If you get there early enough, you might not have to stand in any lines. Before you arrive, turn off your cell phone and turn on your smile!
By: Nancy Anderson, Staff Writer