You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind to make the most out of the intense meet and greet.Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind to make the most out of the intense meet-and-greet.
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Dress to impress
Think of this from a recruiter’s perspective — they meet hundreds upon hundreds of job seekers. (Antibacterial soap, anyone? Seriously.) Among a sea of navy and black suits in this corporate cattle call, strive to stand out. Look impeccable, right down to polished shoes, and add a splash of color to sparkle, like a red tie or a unique brooch.
Do your homework
Research companies ahead of time and peruse their current openings online. Find out more about what they do and why they’ve been in the news lately. Your ultimate goal, of course, is to land a job. Achieving that goal requires becoming knowledgeable about the company and expressing your genuine interest, not unlike preparing for a job interview. Consider the job fair a mini-interview, since you’ll score limited face time at employer booths.
Have a game plan
Decide upon your Top 3 potential employers and eagerly approach them first when your energy levels are high. Be specific and strategic with your conversation — if there’s an available opportunity online, mention it.
Condense your elevator pitch
Make your introduction as flawless and as succinct as possible. Time is of the essence, but how you express yourself is equally important. Say it confidently, look the recruiter in the eye and be enthusiastic!
Get contact info to follow up
Many recruiters will not give you their contact information because they want to avoid being bombarded by candidates. But you may still meet an occasional enthusiastic recruiter who welcomes emails — might as well ask for it.
Keep expectations in check
Remember, this is one step in the job search process — don’t rely on the job fair and following up as the only way to land a job. But if you strategize your game plan and execute properly, it can at least be one way open a door.
Vicki Salemi is a career and human resources expert and consultant with 16-plus years of hands-on management experience. She’s a public speaker, coach, the author of “Big Career in the Big City” and the on-air host of “Score That Job.”