How effective are job fairs? Are they really worth the time and trouble? Can you find a job in customer service? Here are some suggestions to get the most out of your experience.
You will have the chance to meet recruiters and employers. You can gain experience honing your self marketing skills. You can network with other job seekers. You may even pick up a potential lead from chatting about what type of work you’re looking for. If you have an idea of who you want to talk to but have to wait to talk to them, you can always take a moment and talk to other employers that aren’t busy. This can sharpen your conversation skills and you may even end up with a job.
You can make a good impression in person when handing over your resume. Do some research on what companies will be attending the fair. Make a list of who you would like to speak to and where they’re located. Put time and energy into planning your introduction. Read the website for the list of attending employers and see what positions they are hiring for. If no information is posted a month before the fair, contact a sponsor.
You need to know if the company fits your skills and interests as well as the company's needs. Have plenty of copies of your resumes. If you’re planning on approaching different types of businesses, the you’ll have to make different versions of your resume to suit. Use resume guidelines to prepare it and always take a print copy. This way the employer has a paper to put a face to. At a fair, you may have a chance to shine and stand out. Interpersonal skills as well as communication skills are critical in the work place and many employers consider these heavily. With just a resume, a potential employer makes a decision just on what is in front of them. If you’re there in person, then they can see the whole package.
Find out what the appropriate dress code is at the fair. Each fair has it’s own code. You can contact the fair sponsors or check it out online. Brush your manners off and bring them along. Stand up straight, look them in the eye, speak clearly and smile. Give them a firm handshake upon introducing yourself. Some fairs include follow up interviews for a full or half day. Preparing your interview skills in advance is a good idea in case you get fortunate enough to land one.
So are job fairs effective? If nothing else, you’ve gotten out and circulated, gathered some information and maybe made a few contacts and that’s not too bad!
If you have information about jobs at job fairs, or have gotten a job through one, let me hear from you!
By Linda Lee Ruzicka
Linda Lee Ruzicka lives in the mountains of Western PA , happily married and with her 8 cats and three dogs. She has been published in Twilight Times, Dark Krypt, Fables, Decending Darkness, Writing Village, June Cotner anthology, The Grit, Reminisce , the book, Haunted Encounters: Friends and Family. She is an Affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association. She also does freelance work for Beyond and for CSJobs.com. More of her blogs can be found at CSJobsblog.com.