For a majority of us, when we hear the words ‘job fair’ we immediately start to panic. Not because we’re not ready to advance in our careers, but because we’re simply inexperienced. Knowing what to expect can erase some of that apprehension.
So, here are a couple tips and tricks to help you navigate through the job fair and have significant conversations with prospective employers.
First, take a look over who’s coming to campus, what their job description is and where they will be located during the fair. From there you will be able to construct a list of employers you would like to meet with.
Prioritizing who you will meet with is key, as you do not want to spend too much time talking to an employer you have no interest in working for. Your time is valuable, after all, and so is theirs.
To help alleviate some of the stress, research the employer! See if you can find any of the accomplishments they have had throughout their career and take note of it. Also, look for any challenges they may have faced and take close note of how they handled it. This will make your conversation easier, as you will be able to relate to your potential employer. Whether it be a major success or a painful loss, there is something to be learned from the experiences they have had. Not to mention, you will be able to identify their values and morals through this, which ultimately will help you determine whether or not you could see yourself working for them.
If you don’t find much information on the employer, don’t panic! Simply write down a few questions you’d like to ask the recruiter so that way you don’t get stuck during your conversation. It’s okay to be nervous, but you want to avoid having any long pauses in your conversation.
Plus, if you write down questions beforehand and bring them to the fair to ask the employer, it shows that you took extra steps to be prepared, which is something they will appreciate and keep in mind. By showing them that you are prepared, you appear organized.
Next, prepare an elevator-pitch type of speech, in which you will write down all the relevant and important information the employer needs to know about you. This should not last longer than 20 to 30 seconds, as the recruiter may lose interest. You want your introduction of yourself to be concise and to the point, but also professional. This will be your potential employer’s first impression of you, so it’s best to make sure you make it a memorable one.
Also, it’s worth noting that you will be better received by the recruiter if you are dressed for the occasion. Simply put: dress professional. You don’t need to walk in wearing a suit and tie or a dress and heels, but you do need to dress nice. If you’re struggling with what to wear, you can always go business casual.
Another helpful tip is to arrive early. As mentioned before, their time is valuable, and an employer is not going to wait up for you. Another reason why being early can be beneficial to you is because the fairs get overcrowded fast. By arriving early, you will be able to scope out the scene and find the employers you want to talk to.
Remember to maintain a positive attitude throughout the interview and to be professional at all times. Make sure you are maintaining eye contact with the employer while they are speaking to you. Don’t look at the floor or at anything else, or else you may be come across as distracted to your recruiter.
But most importantly, remember to be yourself. No one likes it when someone pretends to be someone else. Your potential employer won’t like it either, and trust me, they can tell. So remember to take a deep breath the next time you sit down to talk with a potential employer. Be yourself and be confident in yourself!
Finally, don’t forget to follow up with the recruiter! It may seem like a long-shot chance, but calling back shows that you’re taking initiative. Be diligent, but not bothersome. Communicating your interest to the recruiters will be taken into consideration, and it just might give you a better chance at getting the job.