If you are having a tough time finding a job, one of the most popular resources available is a job fair. This is an event where recruiters and hiring managers set up booths to meet with potential candidates.
A job fair is not as formal of a setting as a job interview. It is a more relaxed and effective way to learn more about what companies are hiring.
It also gives you the chance to get your resume to companies before they put out official job listings. Many companies prefer to hire from a smaller list of candidates before placing an ad because it can make the hiring process a bit easier.
If you are interested in making the most out of a job fair, there are several tips you can follow.
Research the Fair
A job fair can be a fantastic way to meet new companies, but you do not want to go blindly into a job fair. Take the time to look up which companies are going to be attending the job fair.
Consider making a priority list of which jobs you are most interested in. Knowing which companies are attending can also make it easier to craft your resume.
You may consider preparing multiple resumes that highlight different skills.
At the same time, you don’t want to limit yourself to the companies you researched. While these should be a priority, it does not hurt to look around the fair afterwards and see if there were any companies you initially overlooked.
Make the First Move
In a traditional job interview, the interviewer is the one who usually takes the lead. While you are still meeting with hiring managers, the atmosphere is different at a job fair.
In a job fair, you (the job seeker) are the one to make the approach.
Some recruiters are more active with looking for candidates, but you cannot always rely on being approached. There are just too many other candidates to be considered.
Be the one to make the first move and introduce yourself to interviewers. Prepare an elevator pitch on why you are a suitable candidate and be prepared to answer questions about what you are looking for.
Do not expect a full job interview. Even if the hiring manager is interested in collecting your resume, he or she may only speak to you for a few minutes.
Do not take this as a bad sign or try to stay longer than you are welcome. The main goal of a job fair is to get your resume into a system.
If the company is really interested, they may set up a more formal interview later, but this is not always guaranteed.