Job Fair Tips | Put Your Best Foot Forward

Job Fair Tips: Put Your Best Foot Forward

by Tina Collins, CSP, on February 25, 2021
Spring is PRIME job fair season for recruiters! Forget spending countless hours emailing resumes and filling out job applications. At a job fair, you get the chance to connect directly with many different employers, recruiters and hiring managers all in one day!

When you're searching for a job, a job fair is a doorway to many opportunities, and knowing the right way to prepare will make you stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips for putting your best foot forward - before, during and after a job fair. Remember, you’ve got this!

Before a Job Fair
Job seekers who come prepared will strike up opportunities quickly, so here are five things you MUST do before attending a job fair:
•    Research the companies that are attending. Having some background information means you can ask specific questions about the job and company. After researching, narrow it down to a list of the ones you're most interested in. 
•    Update and print your resumes. Be sure your resume is up-to-date and free of errors. If you have multiple job objectives, make sure you bring enough versions of each resume since some companies may want more than one copy.
•    Prepare a few talking points. Prepare a short and sweet summary of your qualifications and rehearse them before the fair. It’s also wise to brainstorm at least two questions to show your interest in the job and company.
•    Dress appropriately. Your physical appearance is a key part of your first impression - so you’ll absolutely want to dress to impress. We recommend planning your outfit the day before the event to avoid stress and make sure you're looking the part for the job you want. 
•    Be ready to interview. While on-the-spot job interviews aren’t guaranteed, they can happen. Make time to think about your responses to common interview questions if an employer asks.

During a Job Fair
To get the most out of a job fair, you need a plan. Set yourself up for success by following these tips:
•    Be confident and enthusiastic. Introduce yourself with a smile and a firm handshake. Companies are there because they want to meet you, and more importantly, make a hire.  
•    Collect and keep business cards. The contact information is often useful, and you'll show employers that you care about what they do.
•    Talk to people. Make conversation with other job seekers when appropriate. Someone you talk to could give you a helpful tip or provide a meaningful connection.
•    Expect to be evaluated. Remember that impressions count, even if you're only at the fair to gather information. Make the most of it!

After a Job Fair
After you’ve shaken hands and passed out resumes, there are still a few important things to do. Here's what to keep in mind:
•    Follow up with an email to the company representatives you talked to. Review your interest in and qualifications for the job and promise to follow up with a phone call. You can also attach another copy of your resume to the note or email. 
•    Send thank-you notes. A follow-up note shows professionalism and your continued interest, especially if you were given a brief interview.
•    Continue to network. Reach out to fellow attendees you met to share your job fair experience and ask about their successes. Tell them you'll keep them in mind if you see an open position they might want and ask them to do the same for you. 

Take Advantage of Your Next Job Fair
Attending job fairs is a great way to increase your job prospects. By preparing ahead of time, devising a game plan, dressing to impress, asking probing questions, preparing an elevator speech, and asking for business cards, you'll help leave a lasting impression and increase your chances of securing a follow-up interview or landing the job.

If you’re ready to take your job search to the next level, check out our Job Center to learn how LandrumHR can fuel your job search and help you find your next great job.
 
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Tina Collins, CSP

Tina is a Human Resources Specialist for the LandrumHR Staffing division. She is a military spouse, and has a sincere passion for helping veterans and other military spouses find jobs!

View more blogs by Tina Collins, CSP