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Career Fairs - A Surprising Way To Find Employment

by Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CEIC, CCM

Many companies are turning to alternative methods to hire employees in addition to the traditional newspaper ads. Career Fairs are becoming increasingly popular in major cities around the country. Most are either sponsored by companies that specialize in Career Fairs or by schools and universities. It serves as a way for employers to get a first hand look at the "local talent" for hire.

The fairs are usually advertised in the Sunday Employment section of your local newspaper that has a large readership. The companies who participate usually have openings they are ready to fill right away.

Following are some tips on Career Fair Etiquette and Company Research to ensure your success.

  1. Do your research on the companies before the career fair comes to town. Most of the newspaper advertisements will list the employers who will participate to draw a larger, more qualified applicant base. Your local library will have a host of information on companies either through periodicals or annual reports for publicly held companies. This rule applies even if you are interviewing for any company.

  2. Ensure you have plenty of copies of your resume for the employers at the Job Fair. If you need more copies, leave and have more printed.

  3. When approaching the company booth, some employers will have information that is posted about the positions for which they are hiring. If there are no descriptions quickly ask the individual if they have positions in your field of expertise. Make sure you have the qualifications they are looking for. If you do not, go on to the next booth.

  4. If you have the qualifications, then, on the back of your resume, list the positions you are interested in. This way the employer will know what position to call you for when they begin searching through the resumes they have received.

  5. After you have written the job title on the back of your resume, introduce yourself to the person managing the booth, shake their hand, and present your resume to them.

  6. If they have information that is specific to their company, ask for a copy. If you are not interested, try not to take copies of information. It is very expensive for companies to hand out brochures they may have spent thousands of dollars to produce.

  7. Ask for a business card of the person managing the booth. On the back of the business card, write down the position you applied for, the date you attended the job fair, where it was, and anything significant about the person with whom you spoke. Do not do this in front of the employer - walk away to a private area.

  8. Come prepared to interview! Some companies want to spend the time screening candidates for second interviews. Dress for success and with questions about their company from the research you compiled.

  9. Try to spend no more than 30-60 seconds with the person managing the booth, as they have thousands of people they will be meeting that day. This gives everyone a chance to speak with the potential employer. Your follow up will dictate the relationship.

Are you prepared for the Career Fair in your city? Thousands of people will attend. Ensure that you stand out from the crowd with a professional resume! Order today or call us at 1-866-726-9052 and ensure that your resume makes a great impression!

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