Job Search: Are Job Fairs Worth Your Time?
Hey folks, welcome to livemorenow.net. Are job fairs worth your time? The short answer is probably but you have to work it. I’ll explain what I mean by that shortly. Now if I were in the midst of a job search, particularly if I were unemployed, I’d utilize every single resource available to me, including job fairs. But just showing up won’t be enough. When I was a corporate recruiter, we were growing so fast, some months I’d hire as many as 30 people. It was insane. I have worked as a potential employer at countless job searches.
Following are my tips for working a job fair successfully.
1. Most obvious, show up with several copies of a well written resume. If you don’t have, I have a video on how to write one and you can find endless examples with a very simple google search.
2. Show up dressed professionally. Depending on what industry your looking to work in, you may or may not want to wear a suit. If you are in middle management or within a professional industry, you probably won’t find much effectiveness at a job fair but I’d show up wearing a suit. But no matter who you are, at a minimum, you should be dressed business casual. Guys, slacks and a button down, dress shoes, easy. Ladies…for some reason this seems to be more difficult. He’s the low down: nothing skin tight, no stripper heels unless you’re interviewing to be a stripper, no leggings unless it’s for a yoga instructor, no flip flops unless you want to be a life guard. Slacks or skirt that fit properly and a blouse will suffice. If you have tattoos everywhere, cover them up. My boss is literally sickened by tattoos. I certainly don’t feel that way but some people absolutely judge on stuff like that.
3. Do some research if possible. If there’s a list of companies provided, check out their websites. Narrow down your choices so you aren’t wasting anyone’s time especially your own. Plus, if you’re familiar with the company, you can talk about that with the recruiter which is something that will help you stand out. Which leads to my next tip…
4. You gotta stand out without seeming crazy. One woman gave me a resume with a small headshot in the right hand corner which I really appreciated. Sometimes I talked to over 100 people so the likelihood of me remembering someone was slim unless someone really impressed me. If you do this, make sure the headshot is professional and not some stupid instagram selfie with you puckering your lips with a beauty filter.
5. When you speak to the recruiter, to the best of your ability, try to find out what type of positions they need to fill, what sort of qualifications are required for the right candidate, if health benefits are important to you, ask about that and ask the question, “when is a good time for me to follow up with you?”…
6. Finally, and this is super important…FOLLOW UP. But like I said in my last tip, try to determine a good time to do so. When I was working job fairs, I’d drive from college to college to college and it could have been a week before I got back to my office with 300 resumes in my bag. So, in my case, I didn’t want to talk to people for over week. If you had e-mailed me the very next day, well before I was back in the office, your follow up e-mail would get lost in the shuffle. Also, when you follow up, try to express some empathy…I know you’re probably really busy so I wanted to follow up with you regarding our meeting at the blah blah job fair last week. I was always so thankful to someone who seemed like they understood why it might have been taking me a little longer to get back to you. What did not work, was someone who called me with an attitude.