Companies are beginning to hire, and that means they will actually be at the Job Fairs this year. If you want to get the most our of your time at a job fair, some helpful tips are in order. Here are my top 7 “DO’s and DON’Ts”:
- DON’T go to a Job Fair expecting to get a job. Very few people actually get a job from a Job Fair. If you are putting all your eggs into this basket, you will be very disappointed.
- DO go to a Job Fair expecting to gain information about several companies – one of them MAY become your next employer. Ask lots of questions related to the company, industry, and how a person with your background might fit in.
- If you attend a Job Fair with others, DON’T “cluster.” Spread out. Meet new people (employers AND Job Seekers). Make sure that you do not spend all of your time talking to people you already know, that defeats one of the most important reasons for attending a Job Fair – to meet new people and grow your network.
- DO be clear about the kind of position you are seeking. Have a career objective in mind, and stick with it. This will help you and the recruiters find a better “fit” for you and the company.
- DO keep your eyes open for opportunities to help connect others in your network. If you can connect a potential employee with a potential employer, you will build credibility with both parties! (Of course, this “DO” assumes that you have a network to share information with. If not, build one NOW!)
- DO have plenty of business cards and resumes to hand out. Distribute the business cards liberally, and give a copy of your resume directly to a potential employer. (In other words, don’t just set it on a pile, or it will probably go directly into a recycling bin!)
- DO plan to meet 2 or 3 new people, get their business card, and ask if you can follow up with them for a cup of coffee within the next week . . . then DO follow up! Remember, “the money is in the follow up!”
Have fun at these fairs. They can be a great place to meet new people and learn about a company or two that you may have some interest in. Just don’t expect to come away with a job, or you may be very disappointed.