9 Tips for Going to Job Fairs
Hiring events and job fairs can seem overwhelming, but they’re a wonderful opportunity to get your resume in front of a lot of hiring managers in a short amount of time! You have the chance to meet staffing agents in person, make an impression, and possibly even have an initial interview. We’ve compiled nine tips to help you get the most out of attending a job fair.
Have an elevator pitch. Can you effectively describe your skills and desired position in about 30 seconds? Sometimes that may be all you have—whether there’s a crowd and limited space available or you have to catch an employer’s attention quickly. Be concise and to the point, yet confident and convincing. Know what you want and what you bring to the table.
Bring materials. You definitely need to have copies of your resume—at least 20 to be well prepared—but beyond that, bring business cards! They can be a backup if you run out of resumes, but they’re also necessary for networking!
That brings us to the next tip—don’t forget to network! Your main goal may be interviewing, distributing resumes, and finding a job, but never forget that every person you meet can be a future connection! Chat with other attendees and job seekers, too. Pass out your business cards and make little notes to remember conversations later. People you meet may end up in a position at a company you later want a job at or can provide a connection for you.
Collect business cards. In addition to passing out your own, don’t forget to collect from others! And not just from the hiring managers to follow up later, but from other attendees and people you meet. Keep the connections coming!
Dress well. Just like you’re going to any other job interview, dress the part at a job fair. Business casual is a safe bet with a folder, briefcase, or bag for your resumes and materials. Avoid flip flops, shorts, and t-shirts. Keep the perfume or cologne minimal and check your hair, fingernails, and makeup before heading in.
Know who to expect. While you don’t have to know every company at the job fair, have an idea of who will be there and choose some top favorites. Do some research on those companies so you are well educated on the business and positions before meeting them and having an interview. It will make you stand out!
Stay upbeat and motivated. Maybe you stop at one company’s booth and get turned away or told the position you wanted was already filled. It can be easy to become discouraged and carry that feeling around with you throughout the job fair. Shake it off! If you need to take a minute outside to regroup, do that and then go back in with a clear head. Offer firm handshakes with a smile and stand tall, showing your confidence in your abilities. Let them know you’d be an asset to their team.
Say thank you and follow up. At the job fair, thank them for their time. Before you leave and forget specific people, make some notes. When you follow up later, you can mention those things from your conversation. This will help them remember who you were and will show them that you are interested in their company.
If there are temporary staffing agencies at the job fair, definitely check them out! Applying with a temp agency is another wonderful way to get your resume out there. They’ll help to fit your resume with their client’s open positions. In South Florida, visit one of our two TransHire locations in Miami or Fort Lauderdale.
Do you have a success story to share from a job fair?