Attend Job Fairs
Job fairs are an opportunity for job seekers to network and speak directly to employers that might have job openings.
Jobs fairs are your opportunity to introduce yourself to potential employers. You can get information and leads that are not available on the employer's website. They are held by many different organizations, but they can be a mixed experience. It's important to have the right expectations for what a job fair can and cannot do for you. While a fair can help you build your professional network, you are unlikely to have an on-the-spot interview (but be prepared, just in case!) or receive a job offer.
Before the Job Fair
- Register. Although not always required, having your name on the list of pre-registered attendees shows professional courtesy to both fair organizers and exhibiting employers.
- Research participating employers. Find out ahead of time which employers hire people with your skills. Even if the company is not on your list of target employers, treat them as if they were.
- Know your career objective.
- Make a list of questions for employers. Ask about how they recruit and hire people with your skill set. Your target employers will likely have similar hiring practices.
- Polish your resume.
- Practice your elevator speech with someone. Begin with a firm handshake and good eye contact. Use a clear voice and provide the employer with concise and relevant information.
- Practice interview responses.
During the Job Fair
- Dress professionally.
- Bring several copies of your resume, pen and paper for notes, and breath mints.
- Talk with recruiters, but be considerate of their time.
- Get business cards, names, and contact information.
- After meeting someone, make a few notes so you remember what you discussed with them.
- Talk with other job seekers at the job fair.
- Be professional, polite, and positive.
After the Job Fair
Send a thank-you e-mail or letter like you would after a job interview to remind your contacts of who you are and any specifics you discussed. Thank your contacts for their time and ask about next steps. Make sure to organize your job fair notes and contact information.