Written by Jacqui Mills, Employment Specialist with Next-Steps Employment Centre – Don Mills
Job fairs and hiring events offer a great way to practice your interview skills, research companies and network. The most important thing is that you arrive prepared.
Maximize your efforts with the following tips:
Check the listing for the names of companies that will be present at the job fair, and the positions that you are interested in. Create a prioritized list of employers you are interested in talking to. Research the employers on your list. Visit each of the company’s websites to learn more about the company and the positions they have available.
Dress for Success
Wear professional interview attire; comfortable shoes are essential (ladies). Bring a portfolio or bag for collecting company’s literature. Turn off cell phones and other mobile devices.
Plan for extra time at registration even if you register online. Get familiar with the layout of the space and figure out which employer you want to see first. Some lines maybe long if employers are doing on the spot interviews.
One of the most important personal attributes job seekers can bring to a job fair or interview is ENTHUSIASM! Show this by smiling and showing interest in their company. Ask questions and thank them for their time at the end of the conversation.
Make sure you have well defined career goals, and that you can confidently speak about your skills and qualifications. The more you know yourself, the easier it will be to show the employer how you can make a positive match with their company.
Bring extra copies of your resume, pens, and a notepad. It’s hard remembering the multiple employers you may be meeting with. Bring business cards if you have them to give to any new contacts you may meet.
Besides talking to employers, don’t miss the opportunity to talk to other job fair participants, or service providers you meet. You may hear about other opportunities which you may not be aware of. You never know who knows who!
Say Thank You
Always leave a good impression by thanking employers for their time, even if they did not they have any opportunity to offer you.
Collect business cards from employers you meet. Send personalized thank you cards or letters to recruiters. Include something that will trigger a memory of your conversation and restating your interest in the company. Don’t forget to follow up with new participants you meet as well.