Part of a typical job search involves attending at least one career fair to network with potential employers. Showcase your skills and experience, as well as your professionalism, by heeding these six tips to succeed.
1. Research the Companies
Plan well ahead of the date of the career fair by researching the companies represented. Connect with employees via LinkedIn, research companies online to determine mission statements and product lines, and craft a few questions to ask at the employment event to highlight your newfound knowledge.
2. Bring Along Application Materials
You should have a full-service interview kit in tow during your job search and when attending a career fair. Make copies of your resume on professional paper, bring along business cards to pass out to potential employers, and pack a notepad and pens so you can take notes when discussing employment details with representatives from companies you desire to work for in the future. It's also a good idea to bring along identification in case you're hired on the spot and need to fill out employment paperwork.
3. Dress Professionally
First impressions matter, especially when physically meeting prospective employers. Dress to impress by wearing a business suit. Pay close attention to your hygiene and make sure your hair is positioned away from your face so you can make direct eye contact. Avoid any distractions when meeting with company representatives by leaving dangling jewelry at home. Wear sensible shoes since you may be on your feet for a few hours.
4. Remain Courteous
It's possible that you may meet with employers who are not seeking your skills. However, you never know when you may meet with someone who can offer a referral. When faced with rejection or disinterest, remain courteous and thank the company representative for her time.
5. Rehearse Ahead of Time
Practice makes perfect when it comes to showcasing your skills and qualifications. Just as you would rehearse for a job interview, spend time practicing responses to interview questions before the career fair. Meet with a member of your professional network to host a mock interview and receive feedback on your performance. Prepare an elevator pitch that clearly outlines why you are the best fit for each position.
6. Ask Questions
While it is common for employers to ask you questions at a career fair, it's important that you are also vocal. After researching each company, compile a list of questions to ask regarding the positions available and the company as a whole. Inquire about the company culture, work processes and employee base to show you're eager to learn more about the firm.
As a job candidate, you have ample opportunity to meet with multiple employers in one setting when attending a career fair. Get the most out of this experience, and stand out from the rest of the applicants by making your professional attitude and outstanding skills prominent.
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