What is a job fair – and how to prepare

If you are enrolled in a college or university course, you
will eventually have to attend to a job fair in order to get an internship or
your first job.  Job fairs are an
excellent way for both applicants and employers find their perfect fit. For
applicants, because several different companies willing to hire will be
presenting themselves and showing what you can expect from them if you decide
to work there, allowing you to select only the most interesting ones; and for
companies because there will be hundreds or thousands of potential employees
that can be met personally, allowing them to previously screen potential
candidates and call only the best matches for an interview.

In the end, a job fair saves time and resources for both applicants and employers, being a good way to show your skills and personal presentation while having a quicker contact with the company of your dreams.

How to prepare

Dress properly

Remember you are attending to a hiring event, so you should
dress professionally, as if you were going to attend to a regular interview. Do
not use the clothes you use on campus on daily basis.

Research the companies that will be in the
event

You will definitely have a head start if you do proper
research. Which companies will be at the event? Which industries are they in
and how is their environment? Are they growing, stagnant or shrinking? Are they
doing good, having some specific problem, investing or needing to enter a niche
with specific skills? Are they willing to provide training for their employees?
What people who worked for them think of them?

Add more questions of your own to the list above. Remember
to mix questions related to your own interests with questions related to the
interest of the companies as well. The questions related to your own interests
will tell you whether working for that company is worthy it or not; the
questions related to their business will allow you to assess what kind of
talent are they needing and what kind of attitude and skills you need to have
or develop to be a successful employee for them.

After doing that, elaborate a list of companies that you
would like to visit and plan your strategy at the event.

Bring several copies of your resume

A job fair is perfect to drop some resumes on your potential
employers desks. Remember to bring enough resumes for the companies you liked
the most, as well as some spare ones just in case you have the opportunity to
get acquainted with other interesting employers. Remember, also, that if you
are willing to take different positions in different companies, you may need
specific resumes for each niche.

Remember that not all job fairs or individual employers accept
printed resumes and may require you to send them online, most of the time
before the actual event. Take note of that before going to the job fair and
plan accordingly. If you know that the job fair you are attending to requires
electronic resumes (or individual employer), send them in the correct time. If
you learn that a potential employer will only accept an online resume
afterwards, get the correct instruction with them.

Remember that sending your resume according to the rules may
be one of the traits that potential employers will be evaluating.

And do not forget to get business cards of all companies to
whom you’ve talked.

Prepare your introductory pitch

Most of the time, employers will be in contact with dozens
or hundreds potential candidates. As such, you have to grab their attention
quickly.

Plan how you are going to introduce yourself. Think of a
short, thirty-second presentation where you tell them what your career goals
are, what your main skills are and how you can contribute to their team.

After the job fair

After the event, do not forget to follow up. Send a thank
you e-mail to each employer who has given you the chance to introduce yourself
and pay close attention to your inbox or messages, should you be contacted.

You are likely to be contacted after the event, even if the
employer wishes to tell you that you have been declined. If they do that, keep
in mind that they showed great interest in you, but for some reason, decided
not to hire you now. So, keep the doors open, send a thank you e-mail to them
and ask if there is another position that you can fill or if they want to reconsider
you for another role. Be polite and try to keep in contact for a future
opportunity.

Virtual Job fairs

There is a growing trend in the jobs industry, however, that you should take note: virtual job fairs are becoming more and more common. And are one of the main focus of this website, jobfair.pro.

There are some things that you should take note before participating of them:

  1. they are usually very specific for a certain industry or geographic area.
  2. commonly, you’ll work remotely. Many jobs offered are very flexible, and it is common that companies also hire freelancers (be prepared to enter the gig economy).
  3. prepare for a virtual job fair like you would prepare for a physical one, following all advice posted above. Though you are at home, dress professionaly; send copies of your resumes to your potential employers in the right time; prepare a short speech (thirty seconds) to introduce yourself; follow up.
  4. follow jobfair.pro to keep posted about future online job fairs.


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