Career Fair Tips for Job Search Success
With our collective over-reliance on major job boards like Indeed and Monster, you might think career fairs are a job search technique of the past. However, the reality is that many private companies and governmental agencies still consider career fairs to be a viable recruiting method for finding candidates in a wide range of positions.
Related: List of Career Fairs for Job Seekers
It is important to have a strategy to get the most out of your time at online or local career fairs. Here are 5 career fair tips to improve your odds of getting a great job.
They See You Before They Speak to You
One study found that brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text information. This fact means that a recruiter makes judgements about you before he/she ever hears you speak.
Make sure you dress appropriately for the career fair. If you’re targeting corporate positions, wear sharp looking suits. When looking for a position in construction trades or in hospitality, a polo shirt and nice pants are appropriate.
Prepare for the Career Fair
One of the most important career fair tips is to get a list of the participating organizations before you go there. Do quick Google searches so you know what target companies do before you approach them. Make sure you approach the organizations that most interest you.
A Tailored Resume is Best
Resumes work best when they showcase keywords and experiences applicable to the target position. If you’re going for two different types of positions, you need separate resumes.
For example, a recent graduate in Business Administration who wants either a finance or sales position needs to create two different resumes to improve her chances of gaining an interview through the career fair.
Practice a Short ‘Elevator Pitch’
A career fair pitch is another version of an elevator pitch. It is a marketing statement that lasts approximately 20 seconds and highlights your strengths to a prospective employer.
An elevator pitch for a career fair should be two or three sentences. A well-crafted short career fair pitch helps you make a good impression.
Follow Up is Key
After attending local career fairs, it is important to follow up with the recruiter. The goal with a follow up is to stay on that person’s radar. Make sure to get business cards from recruiters and call companies of interest if you don’t hear from them within a week or two.
Similar to an Interview
Career fair tips are similar to job interview strategies. You want to make a strong visual impression. You need to learn about the organization before you make contact and follow up after you make a connection.
Your career fair pitch needs to quickly showcase what you offer to an employer. A tailored resume rather than a generic one is most effective. When you use all of these tips, career fairs are a productive use of your time.
Ready to find local career fairs near you? Checkout this List of Career Fairs for Job Seekers.