With Labor Day now approaching, one career activity tends to appear on more calendars-Job Fairs. Fall and Spring remain the most popular times to hold such events. As long as the unemployment numbers remain high, expect for local news stories showing the long lines of job seekers flocking to the job fair sites. With such high volume of candidates attending, many job seekers wonder if it’s worth the time and aggravation to attend. A growing complaint revolves around many employers no longer accepting résumés at the fairs, choosing to nstruct candidates to apply on the company Web site. Some reason that with that the end result, why not save the time and aggravation of battling the crowds and just apply online at any company ‘s site you see on the job fair list.
Keep in mind that companies incur costs involving both staff time and booth rental fees to participate in these fairs. They would not continue to attend if they did not find the events beneficial. You want to look at a job fair as a chance to make the best of a face-to-face meeting with a company representative. Look at it as an opportunity to set you apart from the growing volume of faceless paper candidates on the company Web site.
First, find out what companies will attend. The sponsoring agencies usually have such a list available with at least attendee names. Some also include the openings being recruited for. If not, check out what jobs they have listed on their Web site. If a company you have interest in will attend but lists no openings in your skill area, consider attending anyway to possibly establish a contact.
Next, develop a strong, concise introduction speech. The general parts of this include your name, skill areas, level of experience, and what positions you seek. Then you will need to adapt it to the specific jobs you hope to speak about as well as the companies.
Demonstrating to a company representative that you have researched the company and have ideas about how your talents can benefit them can go a long way toward moving you ahead of the crowd. Practice this speech in front of a mirror and with friends if possible. the more you rehearse, the more confidently you will deliver the speech.
Next post I’ll discuss strategies once you get to the job fair.