If you are in the job market, job fairs are a great way to get in front of a lot of different employers at once. With only a limited amount of time to visit with all those employers, it is best to prepare for a job fair beforehand, to devise a plan of action. Hiregy's Orlando team recently attended a job fair, and saw first hand what worked (and what didn't work). Check out these tips before you attend your next job fair.
Check the job fair website a few days in advance of the event. The website will often list the employers that will be attending the fair and can even include a floor plan that shows where their booths will be. Research which employers you would like to visit, and plan your route. Do not waste time visiting booths you have no interest in. Figure that out beforehand to take more advantage of your time at the fair.
Dress To Impress
As a job fair is basically a series of short job interviews, dressing appropriately is key. Dress as you would for an in office interview. With usually only a few moments of interaction between you and an employer, that first-impression is key. Make sure your handshake game is on point too.
Don't Be "Shoepid"
While preparing for this blog, I came across a word I have never heard before: shoepidity. The definition being "the act of wearing ridiculously uncomfortable shoes just because they look good". Don't be "shoepid". You can still wear professional looking shoes that will not cause your dogs to bark. You will be doing a lot of walking, and standing, so a comfortable shoe is a must.
About That Resume
This will actually be another blog topic on its own, but until then, the most important thing to remember when it comes to your resume is to keep your resume free of typographical errors and formatted professionally. Your resume will not be the only resume an employer sees that day. For instance, at our job fair, we pulled in about 162 of them. And that was not all the candidates we met, as some of them did not have resumes. (Okay, new most important thing: have a resume with you...actually, have multiple copies of your resume with you.) Employers will receive so many resumes the day of the job fair, so don't let yours stick out for the wrong reasons.
Have An Elevator Pitch
Your elevator pitch is a quick summary of yourself, your skills, background, and career goals. After your handshake and introduction, be ready with your elevator pitch. The employer will appreciate you getting directly to it, as there is most likely a long line behind you. Your elevator pitch will be fairly similar to your answer in a job interview when the hiring manager asks you to tell them a little bit about yourself. For more information on crafting a great elevator pitch, check out this article from Idealist Careers.
Proper planning, dressing appropriately, and having a great resume in hand will help you stand out from the 100's of candidates that an employer may see on the day of a job fair.
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