Most of us take career fairs very casually and do not understand how effective a job hunting tool these fairs can be. It truly requires preparation to reap maximum benefits from education fairs. Advance preparation is always required. Whether or a jobseeker, a student, a working parent or a mid career changer, each one of us needs to do some preparation to avail the benefits that education and job fairs bring us.
It is always better not visit a job fair at all than to go there, drop your resume on the recruiter’s table and walk away. If you seriously want the job fair to help you in your job hunting process, you need to take it seriously. Whether it is about making a professional resume, your dressing sense, research or the etiquettes and mannerisms, you need to be prepared in advance while you visit a career fair in your city.
First and foremost, you need to make a resume that really sells you to employers. Carry multiple neat copies of the resume to hand them to the recruiters you have targeted. Keep the format of the resume simple and attention grabbing.
Second, do some research to know the whereabouts of the company participating in the fair. Make a list of companies you have targeted and prepare a set of questions that you can ask the recruiters during the informal interview at the job fair. Knowing about companies beforehand shows that you are actually interested in working with the company.
Third, get dressed professionally. You can just visit the career fair wearing shorts and T shirts. Follow the interview guidelines that you follow in other job interviews. Do not take career fair interviews too casually.
Fourth, get ready beforehand with a one-minute commercial to introduce yourself to recruiters. Practice giving this introduction a couple of time before visiting the fair. You can also tailor the introduction to suit the specific job requirements of the company you are interested in.
On the day of the career and job fair, carry a proper folder with you. Use the folder to keep the resume as well as the business cards that you collect from recruiters. Do not forget to carry a notepad and pen to jot down things as and when required.
Use your day at the fair on expanding your professional network. Even after you return from the job fair, you should remember to keep in touch with those contacts. And do not forget to send thank you letters to recruiters you interacted with at the fair.