October 26, 2016

Knowing the Market

Job Fairs: Getting noticed at a job fair

Ginger Broslat | 11/8/2012

Job fairs are a great place to learn, network and maybe even land a job. But the experience can be overwhelming with lines of job seekers and crowded booths. Planning ahead helps.

Do your homework.
    When you see an ad for a job fair, look at the list of companies that are participating. Research them online. Learn about their business. Often, companies will have a “news” section on their website. See what’s new and think of ways your skills and experience can benefit them. Look at their open positions and see if there is a match for you.

Get noticedMap out your visits.
    Most larger job fairs provide a map of participating companies’ booth locations. Once you have determined the key companies you most want to see, look for them on the map and plot your course. You want to show that you know what you are doing and that you intentionally planned to visit their booth.

Make a positive introduction.
    Be polite. If another job fair participant is in a conversation with a company representative, either move on to your next company visit or wait at a distance until they are through talking. Confidently approach the booth, making direct eye contact. Extend your hand to shake and say your full name. Say something like, “I’ve already applied online and wanted to take the opportunity to meet you personally today.”

Tampa Bay Times Senior HR Business Consultant Loretta Rieman says that a proactive approach stands out at a job fair. “Most companies do not accept resumes at fairs. Whenever I see someone who takes the initiative to apply online ahead of time, I will mention it to the hiring manager. It makes a difference.”

Tags: Job Search

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