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Are you looking for ways to prepare for job fairs and to make sure you get your first or maybe your second or third job? Job fairs are indeed one of the best options to get in contact with employers and it requires some preparation. This gives you the opportunity to connect with a variety of companies and possibly land your dream job on your career path.
Whether you already know what kind of job you want and you have a preferred company in mind, or you are there to test the territory and get to know as many companies as possible, it is important to prepare beforehand for the job fair. Differentiation is the key when attending career fairs: you need to be aware of the fact that you will have competition and in order to get employers’ attention, you need to know the right way to market yourself and stand out from other attendees.
Here are some tips for successful preparation:
Besides your own persona, your CV is the one that speaks for you, this is why it’s important to make sure your resume is up to date and you have all the information written down before printing it. Reread and add the last experiences you had, whether we are talking about professional or personal achievements, current or finalized studies, as well as developed skills and abilities. This is the perfect opportunity to reflect on unimportant details and experiences which might not be relevant for the jobs you are interested in. After revising everything, what you could do is to translate your CV in English and/or another foreign language.
Other ways to promote yourself at job fairs is through business cards, it’s a great idea to have business cards with your contact information. They are easier to have and hand out, and at the same time people can follow up with you. If you are working within design, the best thing to do is to have a portfolio so you can show your projects and accomplishments. Booklets are today’s trend and you could turn your current portfolio into a catchy one that will attract employers’ attention. Nowadays is so easy to access online printing, such as Helloprint, because it’s fast, efficient, cheap, and always delivers quality products.
Most attendees do not do their research before attending a job fair, most of the time they think "I will go there and see what happens", but this will lead to a total disorientation. Spending some time on learning about the organizations means you can see what type of opportunities they have available. If they fit your point of interest you will be able to ask detailed questions about the job and company, which will show the employers that you are interested in their activity. This will also allow you to be time efficient as you will find necessary information quicker through your direct and knowledgeable questions.
After finding out information about the attending companies you are interested in, prepare a 30 to 60 seconds’ pitch explaining who you are, what skills define you and what is your goal. This will gain you the attention of the recruiters and hiring managers. You should prepare a couple of questions as well, be confident and show that you want to know as much as possible about the company and your wish is you to work with them. It is important to avoid questions such as:
“What does your company do?”
“What is the salary for this position?”
“When will I get an answer?”
The reason why you should avoid these questions is because attending a job fair involves preparing beforehand. If you ask such questions will leave the impression that you did not do the research and your chances of getting the dream job will be diminished.
Check out our article about 7 most common interview questions and how to answer them. This will give you a better insight into what to expect from recruiters and hiring managers at the event. It will also help you prepare professionally and calm your nerves.
Besides many job opportunities at job fairs, you have the chance to join professional development workshops. Try to do research before on the activities and make a list of the ones you want to join. Many of the workshops are held by hiring companies and some of the ones you are interested in might be among them. So choose the right workshop for you and sign up!
6. Follow up with companies
Once the event is over many attendees do not think about following up, but they assume that they will be called for an interview. Make a difference by sending a thank-you e-mail to the companies you have been in contact with at the fair. You can also attach a copy of your CV to the e-mail and, once again, express your interest in being part of the team. This can place you ahead of many other candidates.
Give yourself the opportunity to get the dream job by following these tips! Until the next job fair comes to your city, check out the current job offers we have in Europe.