Covid-19 Alert: In-person job fairs are delayed until further notice. We encourage you to review the resources under Job Search Help for a variety of virtual employment preparation opportunities and the Job Board for current employment opportunities.
A local job fair is a great way to meet employers and speak directly to them. Whether you are new to the job market or have lots of work experience, a job fair is a great opportunity to highlight what you have to offer to employers and to see if there is a job that is the right fit for you.
Some job fairs feature many employers and others are for jobs with a specific employer.
Job fairs are only one part of your job search process but they can be a successful way to find the job you are looking for!
Do Your Research:
Putting some time into researching the companies that will be a part of the job fair is a great way to find out what companies are of most interest to you. Are there companies you are excited to meet? Doing your research before the job fair and creating questions you can ask the employer will help you get the most from the job fair experience. Take some time to go through the job fair’s website to see what companies will be represented and spend some time visiting the websites of the companies that interest you.
Prepare Your Resume:
Your resume is a tool to introduce yourself to an employer. A well-prepared resume highlights your knowledge, skills and experience and is your way of telling an employer what you have to offer. Have someone look over your resume to make sure there are no spelling mistakes or other errors. Bring several copies of your resume to the job fair along with cover letters. For companies that you are interested in, providing a resume and a cover letter tells them that you are serious about joining their company.
Develop an Elevator Pitch:
Imagine you have 30 seconds in an elevator with an employer of your choice. This is your chance to shine! What will you say? An ‘Elevator Pitch’ is a 30-second speech where you tell the employer about your career goals and interests so they can see how you match with their company. Before the job fair, think about how you want to present yourself to the employer. Use the ‘Elevator Pitch’ as a short, interesting way to introduce yourself so the employer remembers you when they are back in the office reviewing possible candidates.
Dress the Part:
Come to the job fair prepared for an interview on the spot. Some employers use job fairs as opportunities for impromptu interviews with candidates. Other employers arrange scheduled interviews later. Either way, dress conservatively and professionally in an outfit you feel confident wearing. Whether the job you are interested in is in an industry where casual dress is standard or in an industry where more traditional business attire is expected, it is always better to be overdressed than under dressed when you are presenting yourself to an employer for a job opportunity. Bringing along a few light snacks will help you stay fueled for walking around and while you are waiting in line at the job fair. Remember to bring a folder to keep your resumes in good condition!
Virtual Job Fairs:
Give Yourself Time:
Be sure to schedule enough time to get through the job fair without feeling rushed. If you had to pre-register for the job fair and have a set time to attend, be sure to find out where the companies are stationed that you are most interested in and talk to them first.
Be Relaxed, Confident, and Yourself:
Remember that talking with employers is a conversation. It is your time to get to know the employer and for the employer to get to know you. A great tip is to practice your conversation with others including friends, family and employment coaches. It might feel a bit awkward at first but this practice will go a long way to helping you feel more comfortable and confident when speaking with employers. Be sure to introduce yourself and be aware of your body language. Be friendly, enthusiastic and interested when speaking with employers!
Talk to Employers:
Make sure employers are aware of the skill sets you have. Share the skills you have gained in past jobs and volunteer positions that would be helpful and related to the jobs you are interested in to show employers you are a good fit.
Questions to ask employers:
If the employer gave you details about next steps, be sure to follow the instructions they provided. Following up with an employer after you made a connection at a job fair is one of the most important things you can do. You can call the employer and leave a voicemail thanking them for their time or, you can send a thank you by email or regular mail, to the address on their business card. Sending a written thank you is a great way to thank the employer for their time, confirm your interest in the position and in an opportunity for a future interview. If you follow up by email or regular mail, enclosing a copy of your resume is always a good idea.
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