Take Steps for a Successful Job Fair

janice_limbaughThe Kentwood Community Church is hosting its monthly job fair this Wednesday from 9 a.m. until noon at the Wyoming Campus. With 40 employers on hand looking for new hires, job seekers have the opportunity to make a great first impression and land a job. But there’s more to attending a job fair than just showing up. Here are 10 tips for attending a job fair with successful results.

One. Dress professionally

Treat the job fair as a professional interview and come dressed for success. Wear a suit or other professional interview attire along with comfortable shoes. You do a lot of standing at job fairs.

Two. Bring 20 copies of your resume

You’ll want to have more than enough to hand out to employers or recruiters. Be sure to proofread your resume for punctuation, grammar and spelling errors. It should be flawless.

Three. Prepare and practice your one minute commercial

Interactions at job fairs are brief, often only a couple minutes. Summarize you skills, experience and strengths in a short commercial about yourself. You’ll want to be prepared to discuss what you like to do, what you’re looking for in a job, and how your skills meet the needs of the employer. While standing in line, listen to the questions the recruiters ask the candidates ahead of you. Typically they ask each person the same questions. Formulate your answers while waiting in line.

Four. Do your homework before you go

The list of attending employers is available prior to the job fair. It’s posted for your benefit to research and gain insight about these companies. Have an understanding of their products, mission, and open positions so you can ask informed questions when you meet with them.

Five. Show initiative and be enthusiastic

When you reach the table, use direct eye contact, shake hands and introduce yourself with a smile! Make them remember YOU by demonstrating interest in the company and their job opportunities. Your job is to impress them enough so that you get to the next stage of the hiring process – an interview!

Six. Ask questions

Come prepared with questions for the company representative. Ask what skills, work experience and education are required for the position? What’s the work environment like? What do they like about working there? And close the conversation by asking for an interview! You’ll make a stronger impression the more you engage them.

Seven. Carry a portfolio or a pocket notebook

You’ll be meeting a lot of employers in a busy environment. It’s good to bring something professional to carry your resumes, business cards, note pad and corporate literature in. Take time to jot notes down of who you talked to and what the conversation was about.

Eight. Collect business cards

Collect the business card of each person you meet so you have the contact names and information of who you spoke with. Consider producing you own business card to hand out. It’s a great way to network!

Nine. Network

In addition to talking to representatives, talk to others around you. Show respect and conduct yourself professionally. You never know who might be able to help your job search!

Ten. Say ‘Thank you!’

Another reason to collect business cards – to send thank you notes/emails as a brief follow up to the job fair. It reiterates your interest in the company and presents you as a strong candidate to the company representative.