Job Fairs: A Job-Seeker’s Guide

Job fairs offer many opportunities that the “daily grind” of checking job boards and forwarding resumes does not.  They get you out of the house.  They give you a chance to connect with several prospective employers in a short amount of time.  And they offer a chance to network both with top companies in your field and with other job-seekers who may offer a “lead” just when you need it most.

To get the most out of a job fair, plan ahead for success.  Here’s how:

1. Find out which businesses are attending.  Identify the companies you would most like to work for, and learn everything you can about them.  What kind of jobs do they have open right now, and what kinds are likely to become open in the future?  What sort of candidates are they looking for?  What is a “day in the life” like at the company?  The more you know about each business, the better you can plan your time while at the job fair and tailor your approach to each company.

2. Know what you want to ask each company.  Use the information you’ve learned about each employer you want to connect with, and create a list of a few questions to ask company representatives.  Try to go beyond the basics like “what jobs are you hiring for?” to more in-depth questions.  To learn more about the companies themselves, consider asking representatives what they like best about their own jobs with the organization.

3. Update your resume, proofread it, and bring several spare copies.  Include updated contact information, make sure your resume is error-free, and bring several spare copies.  You’ll have a tangible handout to provide prospective employers, one that makes you easy to reach and offers a summary of your skills and qualifications.

4. Take the time to connect.  Many job fair attendees simply drop off a resume and move on without bothering to talk to companies.  By simply having a conversation, you’ll stand out among the crowd.  You’ll also demonstrate your genuine interest in the company, show off how much you’ve learned, and have the chance to have your own questions answered.  Approach an employer when their booth is not heavily crowded so you can talk to representatives easily.

5. Follow up with thank-you notes.  Send a brief thank you note a day or two after the job fair, thanking representatives for taking the time to talk to you about their employers.  You’ll demonstrate that you paid attention and are genuinely interested in the company and the job.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters can help you find the job you’re looking for.  Contact us today to learn more about employment in Minneapolis and St. Paul!

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