It’s an opportunity to meet with many employer recruiters in one location in a more informal, relaxed atmosphere. You can discuss employment opportunities with the recruiter, hand them your resume, and talk about your skills, qualifications, and experience. It’s a chance for you to make a good first impression!
Your meeting with company representatives at the job fair is a brief but real interview. If you don’t impress them the first time you meet, you may not get a second chance. First impressions really do count! It is a good idea to lay out your clothing the night before an interview. Plan in advance what you’re going to wear and be sure everything is neat, clean, and ironed. Simple and conservative attire is best. Remove body piercings and hide tattoos. Avoid heavy colognes.
Before the job fair review your resume. Is it attractive to look at and error free? Does it “sell” your skills to the employer? Can the employer tell at a glance what type of job you want and are qualified for? Is it targeted to the type of job you want? Bring several dozen professional-quality copies of your resume to the job fair.
There are a few basic questions you will probably be asked all day. One of them will be “What type of job are you looking for?” If you don’t have an answer ready for this question you will not be prepared. Do not say you will take any job they have even though that may be partly true. Commit to a specific type of job such as customer service support, clerical, accounting clerk, welder, etc. If you don’t want to be specific, offer your skills and experience: “I have skills in sales, marketing and advertising.” Get a friend to ask you some of the typical questions employers ask so you can practice, practice, practice.
You might be asked to describe your strengths and skills, experience, special training or qualifications for a specific job. Someone might ask you why you left your previous job or why you are looking for a career change. If you are prepared to field a variety of questions, your tact and skill will show you as a superior candidate. Never say anything negative about a former boss.
Arrange for someone to watch your children while you are speaking to employers. A job fair is a serious opportunity to meet with employers. Be as professional here as you would at a job interview. Recruiters only want to meet with you—not your children, spouse, friends or family.
Talk to your fellow job seekers while you are waiting to speak to an employer. Who have they talked to? Have they heard of anyone hiring people with your background?
Obtain a list of employers – Plan your strategy for the companies you want to talk with. Do research on the companies on the Internet, in the Career Exploration Room, with faculty, at the library. Prepare questions to ask the recruiter.
A perfect resume is a must – Your resume is an opportunity to present your best qualities and skills. Make it a presentation you can be proud of. Proofread your resume for errors. Ask several friends to proofread it and ask a Career and Employment Services staffer to review it with you. If you are looking for more than one type of work, you may need more than one type of resume. Career and Employment Services has many resume guides to help you polish your resume.
Learn to sell your qualities – You have only a few minutes to introduce yourself and spark the recruiter’s interest in you for a future, more formal interview. This takes practice. Use a mirror, tape recorder or a friend. Be positive and friendly.
Be remembered for the right reason – Now is not the time to have a resume that’s too creative or to wear unusual clothing. You don’t want to be remembered for your weird piercings or your tattoos but for your skills and abilities.
Be polite at all time – The person you meet in the parking lot, hallway or restroom may be the recruiter you will speak with later in the day.
Recruiters see you as a potential future representative of their company. Display confidence, enthusiasm, and the ability to think and speak “on your feet” and under pressure.
Get the recruiter’s business card – Discuss how and when to follow up. A follow-up letter is an appropriate way to reiterate your qualifications, what you know about the company, and why you are a good fit.
Make notes after you have spoken to the recruiter. Take the time to regroup, prepare to follow-up and be ready for the next recruiter you will be speaking to.
Statistics – Job fair statistics show that up to 49% of the candidates who prepare in advance can receive interviews from job fairs, and 65% of those candidates receive job offers. This process can take three months or longer (the larger the company, the longer this may take.)
Always thank the employer for talking with you and give him/her a copy of your resume. Follow-up the next day with a card, letter, Email, or phone call.
Eastfield College Career and Employment Services ● 3737 Motley Drive ● Mesquite, TX 75150● 927-860-8310