Job hunting can be an intimidating and overwhelming process. In fact, a recent study found that average length of time to hire continues to increase as the recruiting process becomes more complex. For many people, career fairs are a great place to make contacts and learn more about open opportunities. Here are a few great tips for attending your next job fair and landing your dream job!
- Dress the Part
- Do Your Research
- Pay Attention to Non-Verbals
- Don’t Go Empty-Handed
- Know What You Want
First impressions are very important, so appearance is critical when it comes to job hunting. Invest in some professional clothing and make sure you are well groomed and manicured. Stick to neutral colored clothing with a more conservative flair. Dressing the part will not only give you confidence, but it will also project a sense of professionalism that will be appreciated by your future employer.
You’ll want to do research on the attending companies well in advance of the fair. Every minute counts at career fairs where face-time is limited. You don’t want to waste your time on a company that doesn’t interest you, nor do you want to be unprepared if you capture the attention of a company that might be a good fit. It’s important to know the basics of each company so you can speak eloquently with each booth. Know each company’s leadership, goals, and industry trends and you’ll feel prepared to tackle any conversation.
Non-verbal communication is extremely important throughout the job search process. Non-verbal cues can say a lot about your level of enthusiasm and commitment and many employers pay careful attention to these small hints. You’ll want to practices smiling, nodding, and tone before attending the career fair. This can have a huge impact on the overall hiring decision and could make or break your chances!
As a rule of thumb, you never want to go empty handed to any sort of job fair. Even if you don’t have an official business card, consider creating a half-page handout that gives employers a glimpse of your personality and accomplishments. You’ll also want to bring a few spare resumes. This step demonstrates foresight and attention to detail and is sure to put you a step ahead of the competition.
You’ll want to do some self-reflection prior to the career fair. This enables you to identify your wants, needs, and strengths. From there, you’ll be able to align these traits with each company. This process will also allow you to identify a set of questions you can ask of each potential employer. You’ll quickly be able to determine if the company is a good fit and you won’t waste time chatting with an organization that doesn’t meet your long-term career strategy.
These are just a few of the many tips for ensuring you find success at your next career fair. Job fairs are a great opportunity to mingle with employers and demonstrate your value as a potential employee. With a little preparation and attention to detail you will be on your way to making a lasting impression!