Updated: Jul 19
Job fairs are events where employers offer information about their companies to people who are looking for jobs. If you are looking for a job this is the place for you! There are a lot of ways to maximize these events for yourself, here are just a few tips.
Before the fair...
Update your resume. Make sure you include your work history, educational background, and any certificates you have acquired. Also make sure your phone number and email are up to date. If the fair offers a list of participating employers and one specifically interests you, consider customizing your resume for their position. Here is a helpful post with a step by step guide to building a resume.
Dress for success, but be comfortable! This is your first impression on an employer so dress in business casual clothes. Be sure to wear shoes you're comfortable standing in as there are few chances to sit down.
Prepare your elevator pitch. You're going to sell yourself and what you have to bring to the job. Practice a 1-2 minute speech you can comfortably give that introduces yourself and your qualifications. Try to hook the interviewer with something unique about you so they'll remember you at the end of the day. Here is a great article from The Muse about how to craft an elevator pitch.
During the fair...
Don't be shy. Every table WANTS to talk to you. Approach each table confidently with a smile and introduce yourself. The employer will probably take charge and ask you some questions but have your elevator pitch ready. Remember to take a deep breath and talk slow and conversationally.
Give them your resume. Once you've gotten through your elevator pitch pass them your resume and keep chatting. This will give employers something to ask questions about and if they get interrupted they'll know how to contact you.
Pick up every business card you can. If you talk to someone, ask for their business card. You will talk to more people than you think and everyone's names will jumble together. Business cards will help you remember who you talked to and how to contact them.
After the fair...
Follow up with a thank you note. Be sure to send a thank you to anyone you talked with 24-72 hours after the fair, whether you have an interest in the company or not. An emailed thank you will more than suffice, unless you feel the employer would appreciate a handwritten note.
Take Action! Follow the employers instructions for applying for the position. The closer to the event you can do this the more likely they are to remember who you were and the connection you had.
Be persistent. About a week after you've submitted your application, follow up with a phone call to your contact. Ask where they are in the hiring process and when you could hear about an interview.
Job fairs should be a fun way to quickly see the jobs available in your community or field. If you follow the tips above you should have a successful fair!
Put all your new skills to the test at the SPBA's Job Fair July 21st.