Job fairs are a great way to get out and speak to many hiring companies all in one go around. The problem is, it brings the crowds with them.
Standing out from the masses is your goal. Because you want hiring managers to remember you above all others. But how do you go about doing that?
Let’s look at 5 essential tips to help you make a great first impression at your next job fair.
1. Do Your Homework Beforehand
Ask for a list of organizations that will be attending the job fair. Then start doing online research of the ones you’re interested in. Find out which positions they’re hiring for and what they want in a candidate.
Also dig deeper into what the company is all about. The more you know about their product or service, the easier it will be to have a conversation with the hiring manager.
You’ll impress them with your company knowledge. A sure fire way to make a great first impression.
2. Go with a Game Plan
A job fair is not the place to “wing it”. You need to have a solid plan of what you want to accomplish to make the best use of your time.
Make a prioritized list of the companies you want to talk to. That way, if you run out of time, you know you’ve talked to the most important ones first.
Plus, when you have a game plan all mapped out, you’ll be less stressed and appear more confident, something hiring managers will definitely notice.
3. Be Professional and Prepared
Always go dressed for the job you want. Even though job fairs tend to seem less formal, you still need to dress professionally and appropriate to the position you’re after.
Have an elevator pitch prepared and a list of questions to ask each organization.
Also, prepare yourself for any questions they may ask of you. And try to answer them as if you’re telling a story. Hiring managers don’t need a summary of your resume, they want to get to know you.
4. Bring All the Needed Paperwork
It’s important to get your resume into their hands! Bring plenty of copies. And if you need to tailor each resume to each individual company, make sure you have them organized so you don’t get them mixed up.
If the position you’re after requires extra paperwork, such as proof of licensure or school documents, bring those along as well.
And hand your resume to them early in the conversation. You want to avoid them getting distracted or interrupted and walking off before having your resume in hand.
5. Follow Up
Soon after the job fair, within 24 – 48 hours, send the hiring manager a thank you note for their time.
In the thank you note, mention you met them at the job fair and reiterate your interest in their open position. Be bold and ask for an interview to further discuss how you would be a perfect fit for their company.
And make sure you tailor the notes to each person, not simply cut and pasted. This will show the hiring manager you truly appreciated their time and you go the extra mile.
Working Job Fairs like A Pro Can Help You Land Your Dream Job
Knowing how to prepare for job fairs could make all the difference between blending in or standing out and landing your dream job.
Check out our calendar for the next job fairs near you.