Author: Lavie Margolin, Career Coach
Many of us have attended job fairs only to be let down. You may have expected different employers at the fair or could not find anyone looking to recruit for someone with our backgrounds. Perhaps we did meet the right people but never heard back afterwards. What follows are tips to increase your job fair success every step of the way: from pre-fair preparation, what to do during the actual fair and steps to take afterwards.
· Research- look up the companies that will be there. Know something about their business. Research the type of jobs that may be open on their website and using an Indeed.com search.
· Know where the location is. Leave plenty of extra time to arrive early, before the doors open to allow yourself earlier entry and the ability to meet with all of the employers
· Create a plan- know which employers you would most like to meet with and start standing on those lines early. Many employers do not stay for the whole event.
· Have your interview attire pre-planned
· Have several copies of your resume available. If possible, have different versions of your resume available.
During the Fair:
· Turn your cell phone off or put it on vibrate.
· Be professional at all times. Be patient while waiting online. When an employer is speaking to someone, don’t hover over them if you are next.
· Have something relevant and intelligent to say about the company. Show that you are not applying to any company or any position but that you are interested in them. What facts do you know about the company?
· Be prepared to give your ‘elevator pitch’ and answer a few primary questions. If they are interested in you, they will get back to you.
· Pay attention to social cues.
· Ask for the interviewers’ card. Ask when you can follow up with them. Make a note after the interview as to when you could follow up, the job types discussed and any other relevant notes.
· A job fair is a great time to network with other job seekers as well. Just because you are both looking for a job, does not mean that you cannot help each other also
· Email a thank you note to each employer that you met with, including those companies you do not want to work for.
· Attach a copy of your resume along with the note.
· Follow up with the company if you have not heard from them. Remind the person of what you discussed at the fair and your qualifications.
· Look back on the fair experience. How do you feel you could have been better prepared?
· Try to establish a relationship by inviting the employer to connect on Linkedin. Do not do this during the active interviewing stage but after the process has concluded (even if you were not hired or chose not to accept the position).
About the Author: Lavie Margolin is a New York-based Career Coach and the author of Lion Cub Job Search: Practical Job Search Assistance for Practical Job Seekers. To learn more, go to Lavie’s website, Lion Cub Job Search:www.Lioncubjobsearch.com