Career fairs offer equal opportunities to both employers and job seekers. Recruiters meet, discuss and interview hundreds of potential employees while job seekers get the chance to talk about their skills, ask questions, and make essential connections. Career fairs offer employers an opportunity to meet and conduct initial screenings on potential candidates. If you are planning to attend a job fair, it is prudent to keep in mind that you will be interacting with many people. Your networking success can start here, so make sure you check yourself in the mirror before heading out.
What is a career fair?
Also known as a career expo or job fair, a career fair is a hiring event where hiring managers and employers meet with potential candidates. It is an event where job seekers can find many job openings at once and meet potential employers.
Why should you attend a career fair?
The main reason why you should attend a career fair is to gain exposure. If you are still not acquainted with job seeking and how interviews are conducted, you may want to start with a career fair where you will meet many potential employers. That way, you will understand what recruiters look for, the most asked questions and how to answer them. Job fairs offer vast amounts of information and experience in various sectors. Simply interacting with other candidates and employers will give you a glimpse of the bigger picture.
If you are still undecided about what you want to do and where you want to work, job fairs provide you with a chance to ask questions about different sectors. Employers and recruiters offer valuable information and also help shed some light on various industries to help you make informed decisions about your career. If you already know what you want to do, a career fair is beneficial for networking and a personal site should be a great plan for promotion in your personal network.
What you should know and do before a job fair
Do your research prior.
The best way to prepare for a career fair is by doing enough research before the event. You will meet hundreds of companies, and it's obvious that you will not be able to speak to all of them. Research ahead of the ones you would like to spend most of your time on, and once you have your targets, you can start preparing your materials.
Speak to an employer
Job fairs are not just about dropping a resume but starting conversations that will later build a network. If there are employers that you would like to work with, it's crucial to still speak to them even if they are not hiring at the moment. You never know when your chance could crop up. Start an endless conversation with lots of questions, and make sure you are the person they will remember at the end of that event.
Dress for the occasion
Dress like you are going for an interview or reporting to work for orientation. Leave no stones unturned. You want to make sure that you leave a positive impression by combining mindful body language, handshake, eye contact, facial expression and voice when introducing yourself.
Like any other job interview, you should prepare a follow-up note to the contacts that you met. Collect business cards or contacts from the people you speak with and be keen on each conversation to help you best personalize the follow-up note. If an employer liked you and remembered you, you are likely to get hired.
A Job fair is not a public gathering; therefore, remember to keep it professional until the end. As you dress up and look at yourself in the mirror, always keep in mind that you may be meeting your future employer. Ask as many questions as possible to get all the information you need to make smart career choices.