Written by Jacqui Mills, Employment Specialist
Next-Steps Employment Centre – Don Mills
Stand Out from the Crowd: Top Strategies when Attending a Job Fair or Hiring Event
Job fairs or hiring events provide candidates with an opportunity to meet employers and recruiters from a variety of industries and receive first-hand information about the organization and available positions. These events gives employers the opportunity to see a large number of candidates, which aids in the pre-screening process.
Make your next job fair a success by following these tips:
- Be Confident!!! Even if you feel nervous, “fake it till you make it”! Take deep breaths, stand up tall and smile. You only get one chance to make a great impression!
- Not all job fairs/hiring events employers will extend an offer. Do not expect it. Even if you do not receive a job offer, attending a job fair is still a great experience to make meaningful connections with employers and to gather useful information that can help in your job search.
- Be patient. Some employers will have a line-up of candidates waiting to see them. Don’t let the line dissuade you from talking to them. Wait your turn with a positive attitude.
- Act professionally. Introduce yourself with a firm hand shake and a genuine smile to begin the conversation.
- Listen. While waiting you will have to opportunity to listen to employers and hear what other candidates are asking and the responses to the questions. Do NOT repeat the same questions. Try to think of a fresh, new question or conversation topic so you can stand out from the crowd.
- Answer employer’s questions directly and concisely. Conversations should be two-sided with both parties asking questions and providing information.
- Prepare questions to ask the employer. Think about the research you completed on the companies before attending the job fair, and ask questions related to this research. Do not ask employers/recruiters questions about salary – this will make it seem like you are only interested in money, which will give the wrong impression. It is better to hold off on the salary discussion until after your first job interview.
- Do not take the freebie and walk away. Take a deep breath, go up to the employer and try to engage in conversation. If you only take the freebie (ie. pen) and walk away, it makes it seem like you’re not interested in finding a job.
- Go alone. You will have a better chance of interacting with more individuals if you are alone. Do not take family members, or friends who are not job searching. By having these individuals around you, it will make you look less professional or independent.
- Arrive early. The employer is forming their opinion of you based on your actions at this event. By arriving early it shows them that you are organized, have good time management, and are taking your job search seriously.
Next-Steps Employment Centres hosts numerous monthly hiring events at all 7 of our GTA locations. Get notifications on all upcoming events by following our social media channels below.