Some tips for how to make the best of your attendance at a Job Fair
Hopefully, upon arrival you will receive a list of attending employers with the locations of their booths. Take the time to review this. Most likely, it is more up to date and provides better details about positions than the fair’s web site. Walk around and observe. Some employers sign up late and do not appear in the directory.
Target and prioritize your list of what employers you want to see. I strongly recommend that before visiting a top priority booth, stop at a couple of companies you have only limited interest in. This allows you to “dress rehearse” your introduction speech. Work out any flaws in your delivery prior to hitting up your main targets. Another helpful strategy can be to wait on line at a booth next to a prime target. See if you can hear any questions your desired employer asks each candidate. This can help you prepare a stronger answer for once you get there.
Once you meet employers, provide a strong a handshake. Speak confidently with good eye contact. Since the employer will speak with literally hundreds of candidates that day, you will need to find some way of making yourself memorable. Try to provide a detailed, specific story about an achievement or key project you worked on that has relevance to the company. Don’t overlook something as simple discovering a common bond with the company representative, such as school attended, common colleague or association membership. Each could provide a point of reference beneficial when following up.
A common recent job fair complaint I hear is that many companies will not accept résumés at fairs; preferring to instruct candidates to apply on line. Rather than become aggravated by this, make sure you get the company representative’s business card. Jot down any notes about your meeting on the card. Once you complete the online profile, follow up with an email to him or her indicating you have done so. Reference your meeting with a specific detail about your conversation, thank them again, and establish a schedule for following up on you candidacy.