Everything you need to know to stand out at a job fair
With so many employers hiring right now, one of the best ways to find out what jobs are out there can be a job fair.
But how do you make the right impression with the places you want to work? Read on to find out the top ways to prepare and stand out, so you’ll be landing interviews and a new job right away.
What are job fairs about
Many large employers and industries are hosting job fairs to attract new hires, and if you've never been to one it’s good to know what to expect. And, just as important – how to stand out.
When you’re competing with hundreds of other job seekers, standing out can be tough – you want to get noticed, in a positive way. So it’s crucial that you’re prepared and ready to sell yourself. Read on to find out the top ways to prepare and stand out, so you’ll be landing interviews and a new job right away.
How to stand out at a job fair
Bring the right things with you
**Pack a small bag **that you’re comfortable carrying for a few hours, nothing too bulky, that leaves your hands free for handshaking or taking notes.
Bring multiple copies of your resume – it's good to have a minimum of 20 – in a folder to protect them. Also pack a pen and paper, or a fully charged tablet for taking notes.
Do your homework in advance
Get a list for all of the employers who will be attending the job fair, and figure out which ones you’re the most interested in. When you get there, prioritize speaking with them first, so that you make sure you’ve hit your top choices.
When you meet with them, be sure to have done a little bit of research on each and what they do. This will help you cut to the chase about what they’re looking for, if the job is a good fit for you and get you into a deeper conversation.
Dress for success
Of course you plan to dress professionally for a job fair, but do keep in mind the climate – you’ll want to be comfortable – and keeping your hands free. Leave your coat in the car or check it if you can, and be sure to wear good walking shoes, as you may be on your feet for a few hours.
This is not the time to be shy! Approach each meeting or table with a big smile, be friendly and prepared with something to say. Use your time – and theirs – respectfully, and have a quick 30 second intro about who you are and what about their business makes you curious about working there.
Put your resume in their hands
Don’t make the mistake of waiting for the perfect moment to hand-off your resume, have it in hand as you’re greeting recruiters. As you share your work experience, it can help to point to that information on your resume, to emphasize your skills.
Follow up notes
Within 24-hours of your meetings, email each person you met with a thank you note, letting them know you appreciate their time. Even if you’re not interested in the company or jobs, the person you might end up somewhere you want to work some day. They’ll appreciate your courtesy!
Find hiring events in your area on the Jobcase Hiring Events page and follow #hiringevents in the Jobcase community.
I got no problem sticking out I’m 63 years old and a story