Thursday, April 23, 2009

5 Things to Do at a Job Fair (and 5 Not to Do)!

One of the questions we are asked by many job seekers is what to do at a job fair, so we came up with a list of 5 do's and 5 do not's that should make your job fair experience more productive.

  1. Do prepare before the event. Research the companies that will be attending. The fact that you know about the recruiter's company will go a long way toward getting you an interview.
  2. Do talk to every recruiter at the event. You never know what a company may be looking for. You might not think your dream job is digging ditches, but "Ditch Diggers, Inc" might be looking for an IT professional at their corporate office. Even if the recruiter doesn't have a job that is a good fit for you, the process of talking with the recruiter is great practice.
  3. Do sell yourself to the recruiter. Don't just ask or answer questions, have a 30 second pitch ready to present to the recruiter. Tell them what you can do for their company.
  4. Do take something away from the every conversation. Any "inside" information you can uncover will help you on follow-up interviews.
  5. Do follow up. Write a thank-you note, email another copy of your resume to the recruiter with a cover letter (you did pick up their business card, didn't you), and visit the company's website for more information
Do Not's

  1. Do Not show up in cut off jeans and a tank top. Even if you are applying for a job as a "beach bum", this is not appropriate interview dress.
  2. Do Not break in line. While you are obviously the most qualified applicant for the job, Bubba the bouncer may not agree. Be patient and wait your turn.
  3. Do Not explain to the recruiter that you lost your last job because everyone at your former place of employment was an idiot, they all had it in for you, you really didn't steal that much from the company, and you are considering taking them to court.
  4. Do Not cruise the tables looking for "goodies" that the recruiters may be giving away. If you are more interested in that Great 10 cent pen than an actual job, the recruiter will know.
  5. Do Not cry at the job fair. Job Fairs are a No Cry Zone....especially if you are a big, hairy guy with tattoos and a leather jacket (it's tough to dry your tears on leather).
Job Fairs are a great place to meet face-to-face with recruiters. Be prepared, talk to everyone, and keep a positive attitude.


Tony Hawk said...

Yes, I would agree. But when you go to a job fair just to get some ideas for topics for your blog and you make far more money working part time off your websites then the recruiters would ever offer and they comment on your wearing a hat and such, then what do you say? Last time I just told the lady - don't worry about it as you can't afford me. Here is a great article on Recession proof business ideas. In my opinion it is far better to become self employed and no time is better than the present to get started. Kick the employers to the curb.

Tony Hawk (not the skater)

The Employment Guide said...

Thanks for your feedback Tony! Yeah some folks can make a go of it working on their own, but not everyone is suited for self-employment.

Imee said...

Thanks for the great tips. Not very many people take job fairs seriously. I've been to a couple, and there were times people weren't dressed appropriately or weren't fully prepared at all when it comes to convincing recruiters to hire them.

JobSearchNinja said...

In order to win the best jobs and ultimately your dream job in today's world, you have to work like a ninja. Your job search must be different than everyone else's. You have to search where others don't search. You must have a strategic plan of attack.

adrin said...

What a useful informative post.

Work from home

Sample Resumes said...

I really needed some assistance. All these tips are very nice. I 'll have to go for a job fair in next week. I 'll try to follow these tips. Thanks a lot for sharing such nice tips buddy.

Salaries said...

When I was in college, I am very fond of attending job fairs. Thanks for this tips. I will share this with my sister who's about to attend one.