Face to face interaction with recruiters is crucial in such a competitive job market. Meeting and interacting with employers at careers fairs is perhaps the most important part of the job-hunting process, as it can give you the opportunity to make personal connections and expand your professional circle.
However, your chances of finding work through a career fair largely depend on your ability to make a positive first impression. In order to do that, some preparation prior the event is necessary. Rasmussen College’s infographic offers some good preparation tips.
Conduct your Research
- Make sure you learn which companies are going to be at the event either by checking the event’s website or contacting event organisers through an email. Alternatively, if the event is organised by a university you could check their careers service website.
- Do your research on the organisations. Choose the companies you are interested in and find out as much information about the company as possible. For example, you could find out what does this company do or if there are any available vacancies.
- Plan in advance on how you are going to spend your day at the event and pack your necessary snacks.
- Prepare some intelligent questions that you would like to ask employers. Avoid obvious questions that you could find in a web search or which you have no interest in. Questions like "What have you enjoyed the most about working at the company?" or "Can you tell me about the new products/campaigns you will be working on?" show the recruiter that you would like to be part of the company and that you are interested in their future plans.
Work on your Professional Image
- Dress like you would normally do for an interview. This includes a business or smart casual attire in which you look neat, tidy and well-dressed. For men a suit would be ideal and for women pressed dress pants or a long skirt.
- Take several copies of your CV with you.
- Prepare your "elevator speech" in which you refer to your previous work experience, qualifications and skills and explain what makes you a strong candidate. Through your speech you should be able to summarise who you are, what you do and what you are interested in doing.
- Be prepared to answer questions about yourself. Questions such as "What are your key strengths?", "Why are you interested in working with us?" or "What can you contribute to the company?" are amongst the most frequently asked questions that employers make during interviews and at career fairs.
- Be enthusiastic and demonstrate your interest with a firm handshake and a good eye contact.
- Make sure to take the contact details and business cards of the employers you talk with.
- Follow up by sending a thank you email to recruiters and check if they are on LinkedIn.
Check out the infographic to learn how you can make the most out of your career fair experience and impress employers!