Heading to a job fair soon? These events can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking, especially at first, but they are great ways to dive into your job search, get interview experience and get known in your field!
Once you’ve found a job fair you want to go to, take time to prepare for it:
-Update your resume and print off multiple copies. Be sure to bring a folder to hold these so they don’t get wrinkled as you walk around-that is a sure-fire way to not get hired!
-Plan your outfit for the day. Make sure it’s professional looking but still comfortable-you don’t know how much walking you will be doing or for how long you may end up there.
-Research the companies attending. If there is someone coming to the fair that you really want to work for, or even talk to to learn more, do your research about them. Learn about the companies including histories or trivia so you have something to talk to the representatives about.
-Set Goals. You may not get hired at your first job fair but it’s important to have a plan and goals for each one you attend. Whether it’s talk to 10 people, or to give out all of your resumes or to ask a certain company questions about working there, make this day a success for yourself!
Once you’ve arrived the job fair remember these few things:
-Don’t get overwhelmed. Grab a map or list of companies if one is available. If it’s very busy and full, do a walk through first so you can see who is attending and make a plan for the rest of your visit
-Don’t give up. If a booth is busy, remember you can always come back. If you are short on time, grab their card and email them afterwards saying you’re sorry you didn’t have a chance to chat.
-Take breaks. Talking to a potential employer while you feel physically uncomfortable is not an ideal situation. Bring snacks and water, sit down when you have the chance and if you’re very nervous maybe take a break outside or even in the rest room, to have some time away from the noise and bustle.
There is still a few things to do after you’ve left the event:
-Email the companies you talked to saying you enjoyed speaking to them. Ensure you are emailing the correct person, not just the generic company address and try to identify yourself in some unique way-they will have talked to a lot of people that day! Attach your resume again just in case.
-Evaluate and start again. If the job fair didn’t go as you had hoped, think about ways you could’ve changed things and make a plan for next time. Set higher or different goals that you think will increase your chances. If job fairs turn out to not be for you, look into virtual ones as they offer a different tone and arena