4 ways to make the most of a job fair

October 17, 2017

 

 

So you heard there’s a job fair coming up and you can’t wait to get out there and meet potential employers. You’ve been working hard to gain experience, your resume is polished to perfection, and you’ve got the perfect business-professional outfit for the big day. It doesn’t stop there! Make sure you’re ready to maximize your opportunities with this game plan:

 

1. RESEARCH ATTENDING COMPANIES

 

In a sea of eager applicants just like you, time is crucial. Make the most of your time by researching companies that will attend the fair. Create a list of companies you’ve absolutely got to visit, and you’ve saved yourself at least 30 minutes of walking and searching.


Take it a step further:

 

If you’re feeling super Type A, why not rank the companies in order that you’d like to visit with them? You can even jot down a few questions or points of discussion for each recruiter. You’ll look prepared and recruiters will know you mean business. Beware of asking questions that you can easily find answers to online – this is a sure way to waste time and appear unprepared.

 

 

2. PREPARE AN ELEVATOR SPEECH

 

Nothing is more nerve-wracking than scrambling for the perfect words at the most imperfect time. Avoid mush mouth by practicing an elevator speech beforehand. This should be a 30-60 second, elevator ride-long spiel about your personal brand, your professional goals and what you’re doing to achieve them. This enthusiastic pitch should be clear, compelling, and free of industry jargon. Practice a few times in the mirror, and you’ll know exactly what to say when asked, “So, tell me about yourself.” Don’t forget to smile!

 

Take it a step further:

 

Opt to bring a resume card in, which offers a more condensed version of your accomplishments. More in-depth than a business card, this 4x6 or 5x7 leave-behind will offer employers a quick glance at what you can offer.

 

 

3. BRING YOUR RESUME


Time to hit up FedEx! Plan to bring at least 15-20 copies of your resume with you. Don’t be alarmed – it’s best to be overprepared than underprepared in this situation. It’d be unfortunate to really hit it off with a recruiter, only to realize that you ran out of the best tool for them to remember you by. Having plenty of resumes will ensure that you’re a name to remember. Store them in your padfolio and you’ll be good to go.


Take it a step further:

 

Don’t settle for basic printer paper. Print your resume on 32 lb. paper or even cardstock! Most printing companies have paper samples available for you to choose from. Once you hand it off to the recruiter, they’ll immediately notice and be that much more inclined to spend time reading it. What’s better, you’ll stand out in the pile of resumes they’ll take back to the office.

 

 

4. BUILD CONNECTIONS

 

Job fairs and interviews aren’t just for interviewing potential employees; they’re for interviewing potential employers, too. You deserve to know if a potential company is right for you. Don’t be afraid to ask important questions when meeting with recruiters. If you like what you hear, ask for a business card. Plan to follow up via email no later than 48 hours, expressing gratitude and further interest. If you don’t hear anything back for a week, send a follow-up email or give them a call.


Take it a step further:

 

You know how you meet a cool guy or gal and add them on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat? LinkedIn is just the place to do the same thing, on a professional level! Send an invitation to connect, detailing how you met and why you’d like to keep in touch. This is especially helpful if the company you’re interested in isn’t currently hiring. You can stay up to date with company happenings while giving them direct access to your career journey. You can even request an informational interview to get your foot in the door for the time-being.

 

 

 

With these 4 plays under your belt, you’re sure to score opportunities to take you to the next level. Got questions about other job fair tips? Leave a comment below!
 

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