Attending a job fair can be a great way to jumpstart your job search and connect with potential employers. However, like any job search activity, it requires preparation and strategy to make the most of your time and stand out to recruiters. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to prepare for a job fair before, during, and after the event to maximize your chances of landing your dream job. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, these tips will help you make a lasting impression on recruiters and leave the job fair feeling confident and empowered.
Before the Job Fair
- Dress for success: Attend the job fair in professional interview attire. It is recommended to wear lightweight clothes to avoid getting too hot and comfortable shoes, as you may need to stand for an extended period of time.
- Practice a pitch: Before attending the job fair, it is recommended to prepare a quick pitch that summarizes your skills and experience. This pitch, also called an “elevator speech”, should be no longer than 30 to 60 seconds, which is the typical time of a ride on an elevator. It should introduce yourself, highlight your skills, and explain your career goal. Practicing this pitch beforehand will help you feel more confident when delivering it to potential employers at the job fair.
- Review your resume & bring copies: It is important to review your resume from the perspective of potential employers before attending the job fair. Your resume should provide a clear understanding of how you can meet the company’s needs. Well-written accomplishment statements can demonstrate your on-the-job skills. It is advisable to bring printed copies of your resume to the job fair, although some employers may not accept hard copies and may ask you to apply online. In such cases, make sure to note down the necessary information for their hiring website.
Check out companies: It is recommended to research the companies that interest you before attending the job fair. Gathering information about the company culture and understanding how you can contribute can be beneficial. The more you learn about your preferred companies, the more confident you will feel when engaging with potential employers.
Prepare questions for employers
- What opportunities for advancement are available?
- What types of training programs do you offer?
- What skills and attributes do you value most in your employees?
- What type of educational background do you look for in your employees?
- What are the biggest challenges associated with this position?
During the Job Fair
Show initiative: It is recommended to shake hands and introduce yourself to potential employers when you approach their table at the job fair. Make sure to maintain direct eye contact and demonstrate your interest in the company and their job opportunities.
Collect employer brochures and business cards: Collect business cards and brochures, so you have the contact information for the employers you have spoken with. After the job fair you can review the handouts, use the contact information and know how to apply for positions.
- Take notes: It’s hard to keep track when you’re meeting with multiple employers in a busy environment. Jot down notes on the back of the business cards you have collected or on your notepad, so you have a reminder of what you spoke about.
After the Job Fair
- Say Thank You: Sending a brief follow-up thank you note or email to the company representatives you met at the job fair can be beneficial. It is a good way to reiterate your interest in the company and remind the representatives that you are a strong candidate.
- Review information and handouts: Take a look at the information you picked up at the job fair including company brochures, business cards, and position descriptions. This can help you gain a better understanding of the companies and positions that interest you.
- Make sure your Linkedin is up to date: Review your LinkedIn profile and make sure it is as refined and thorough as can be. In many cases, employers will be looking at your profile if you have applied for a position.
- Practice your interview skills: To prepare for your next opportunity, it is recommended to practice your interview skills. You can do this by researching common questions in your industry and the position you are applying for. Consider practicing in front of a mirror or with the help of a family member or friend. This can help keep your skills sharp and improve your chances of success.
- Keep on job hunting: The job fair is a great resource for your job search, but don’t let it end there. Take the skills and confidence you developed interacting with employers and apply that to your job search and future interviews.
Looking for work in the Greater Victoria area? Don’t miss the Langford Job Fair on Tuesday, Sept 5th from 1-5 pm at Four Points by Sheraton – 829 McCallum Road. Learn more or sign up on the Eventbrite page: