Getting ready to attend a local job fair? It’s a great way to quickly meet employers and speak directly to them. The competition can be fierce, so be prepared for the big day.
If you’re looking for more proven tips and employer-backed information on finding a job, register now for our upcoming job seeker webinar: https://navigatejobsearch.eventbrite.ca
Before the Job Fair
Do Your Research:
Are there any companies you are excited to meet? Go through the job fair’s website or call ahead to see which companies will be represented. What are their missions, values and open positions? Create questions you can ask the employers based on this information.
Prepare Your Resume:
Go through your resume to make sure it’s up to date and free from errors and typos. Send it over to a friend to look at, in case there was anything that you missed.
For companies that you are interested in, include your cover letter and customize your resume. Bring extra generalized resumes in case you end up needing them.
Develop an Elevator Pitch:
Who are you and why should you be hired? An Elevator Pitch is a 30 second speech where you tell the employer about your career goals and interests so they can see how you match with their company. Use this pitch as a short, interesting and memorable way to introduce yourself.
Dress the Part:
Come prepared to be interviewed on the spot. Dress professionally in an outfit that you can feel confident wearing. Be sure to wear comfortable, but professional shoes.
Your bag should be your secret weapon for the day. If you’re walking, cycling, or taking transit, bring along travel-size toiletries to help you feel fresh before starting the job fair. Snacks can keep you fueled for walking around and waiting in line. A portfolio makes sure that your resume and cover letters stay in perfect condition before you hand them out.
At the Job Fair:
Give Yourself Time:
Schedule enough time to get through the job fair without feeling rushed. If you do have a set time, find out where your preferred employers are stationed and talk to them first.
Be Relaxed, Confident, and Yourself:
Take time to get comfortable speaking with employers by first trying out some “practice” employers. Once you feel ready, approach your ideal employers with your pitch.
Be prepared to shake hands and introduce yourself. Be aware of your facial expressions and body language! Even if you’re tired, be friendly and enthusiastic when talking to an employer.
Talk to Employers:
Make sure that the employers are aware of the skill sets you have. For example: Being able to speak more than one language. Identify your transferable skills (the skills you have gained in past jobs that would be helpful in the jobs you are interested in) to show employers that you are a good fit.
Questions to ask employers:
- What particular skills are you looking for?
- What’s been your experience working for this company?
- What are the next steps after the job fair?
Don’t be discouraged if employers are not accepting resumes on the day of the job fair. Use this as an opportunity to connect face to face with employer.
Take their business card and jot down a few notes after the interaction. This way, you’ll have a good way to follow up with them after the day and remember how it went.
After the Job Fair:
If the employer gave you specific instructions about next steps, be sure to follow those instructions.
Consider sending a thank you card or email after the job fair for any interview you had on the spot. Use the opportunity to mention a specific piece of advice or conversation you had with them.
For more information like this, check out our Your Job Search: Overcoming Barriers for Job-Seekers project and be sure to attend our webinar: Navigating Your Job Search.