A career fair is a great opportunity to learn more about positions within a given field you might want to pursue. The advantage of these types of events is that you not only learn more about jobs, but about the employers who manage the types of jobs you wish to pursue. As you prepare to attend your first (or next) fair, here are some helpful tips to help you get the most out of it:
Know All Relevant Details About the Event
Will there be actual human resources personnel onsite conducting interviews? Do you need to schedule interviews? Is scheduling through the event hosts or individual employers? Is this a more casual/informational sort of event?
Knowing the answers to questions like these will help you be more prepared. If you can expect to be interviewed, dress for an interview. Bring copies of your CV/Resume. If all you will be doing is filling out applications, casual attire might also be acceptable. The event website should have all the information you need to be best prepared.
Sharpen Your Interview Skills
Many colleges and universities offer coaching on things like Resume/CV writing and interview skills. Take advantage of these resources. It will help you feel more confident and prepared during actual interviews. These classes are often free for students and available at nominal cost to the general public.
Get Contact Information From Prospective Employers
Once you arrive at the event, you should be prepared to gather contact information, especially on employers you find to be of particular interest or note. Carry a notebook or have a reliable note taking app like Evernote on your phone. The latter will allow you to catalog conversation notes alongside other contact info (like the company website or relevant contact email addresses) for easy recall later.
Follow Up With Your Best Prospects
If, after a few days, you haven’t heard back from a good prospect, follow up with a phone call, email or text (depending on what you learn about the company during the interview). Quite often, employers show favor to applicants who show the most enthusiastic interest in the position. They might actually be waiting to hear from you!
“Congratulations, You’re Hired!”
Career fairs can be very valuable resources for job seekers, but only if you have a good strategy for navigating them. Use the information above to plan your strategy and you will be set up for success!