How to Make the Most of a Job Fair

Job fairs provide a great opportunity for a company to meet and screen a number of possible job candidates. A job fair or career fair is only one part of the process of searching for a job, yet it provides job candidates with worthwhile chances for finding work. Today, more fairs are run through the web, and pre-registration has become essential.

Different Job Fairs

There are various job fairs, including campus job fairs at colleges and industry-specific job fairs for professionals, focusing, for example, on health care, computer science or tech support. A job fair could be a huge nationwide gathering in an open field or a smaller one in an exhibition hall. Whatever the size, a job fair brings hope to the job seeker.

General Benefits

Job fairs offer a great chance to compare benefits, bonuses and other perks offered by various companies. There may be classes or lectures offered with a chance to add to your CEUs (continuing education units). You could find chances to relocate and gain better career prospects. You could learn of the latest specialization techniques and of different job options.

How to Make the Most of Job Fairs

Pre-register. A summary resume may be sent with the registration form. Sometimes, you can even be selected through pre-screening and get to meet some employers of your choice.

Spruce up your resume. Make it short and concise. Weed out irrelevant information. You should impress with a power resume, as the time allotted to it by employers will be brief. If you are applying for different jobs, prepare different versions to suit the jobs. Also have spare copies ready--better, have a resume that can be scanned.

Make a list of probable companies you would like to join and learn all about them. Information about who will attend the fair will be available on the job fair website. You can do thorough research to prepare yourself well.

Get a career portfolio ready. You may get through the screening interview, and the second round will need all the data a career portfolio will have.

Even though job and career fairs may look like large informal gatherings, you should dress conservatively in a business suit--nothing loud or gaudy, just conventional professional dress with a neatly groomed look.

Prepare a few lines that will succinctly express your special skills and suitability. After a firm handshake with a smile and eye contact, introduce yourself and make the most of the 3 to 5 minutes you may be allotted. Impress the interviewer with your knowledge of the organization and a genuine interest in joining it. Get a business card from the recruiter. You should be ready with your own questions for the company representative.

It is not enough just to submit copies of your resume at a job fair. Maximize the opportunity to meet as many representatives of or recruiters for the companies as you can. Even if they do not recruit immediately, they can keep you in their future job lists. Ask politely for the outcome of any screening interview and follow it up. Send a thank-you note to the organizers.

The fair may look crowded, but if you are organized, you can use the job fair well, and you may successfully obtain a good job.