Does the very idea of a job fair make your palms sweat? Or do you get truly excited at the thought of getting to meet so many potential employers?
Whatever your personality, follow these simple tips to help you make the most of any job fair experience:
1. Set your expectations correctly
At a job fair, you can expect to introduce yourself to potential employers and answer employer questions, as well as get information and leads that are not available on the employer’s website. But don’t expect to have on-the-spot, full interviews or walk away with a job offer.
2. Research participating employers
Research is a critical part of the job search process. Find out ahead of time which employers hire people with your skills. Even if the company is not on your list of target employers, treat them as if they were.
3. Make a list of questions for employers
Ask about how they recruit and hire people with your skill set. Your target employers will likely have similar hiring practices.
4. Practice your elevator speech
Your elevator speech is people’s first impression of what you have to offer. Begin with a firm handshake and good eye contact. Use a clear voice and provide the employer with concise and relevant information. It’s a good idea to practice with someone else.
5. Prepare your supplies
Bring several copies of your resume, pen and paper for notes, and breath mints.
6. Follow-up with yourself right away
After meeting someone, make a few notes. What did you discuss with them? Did you commit to any follow-up? It’s a lot easier to remember right after the meeting!
7. Send a thank-you email or letter
Remind your contacts of who you are and any specifics you discussed. Thank your contacts for their time and ask about next steps. Make sure to organize your job fair notes and contact information.