Get the Best From An Employment Fair

Get the Best From An Employment Fair

By Ed Hanna

Employment fairs are a great way to look around for opportunities that might suit you post-Services.

Pre-register

While you can normally rock up on the day, it’s best to pre-register since you’ll get a preview of the companies and organisations that are going to be attending. From here you can start to think about the ones you definitely want to visit and introduce yourself to – and to do a bit of research.

Having a hit list to take with you will save a lot of time-wasting when you arrive at the event.

First impressions

Look the part – business dress is sensible since it’s always better to slightly overdress than stick out because you haven’t made an effort. Similarly, smile, look people in the eye and shake hands like you mean it!

Prepare yourself

You may only have a matter of a few minutes to market yourself to a recruiter so make sure your delivery is sharp and to the point. Sometimes it’s called an elevator pitch: a brief description of who you are and why they should be interested.

Along similar lines, be prepared for a few of the standard interview questions: Why are you here? Why would you like to work for us? Also, have a few in return, based on some of the research you did. (Make sure you take the details of the person you spoke with; they’ll usually have business cards.)

Don’t waste your time

Don’t get drawn into a long conversation with an organisation you have no interest in working for. The clock is ticking…

Network

Career fairs are all about networking. Speak with anybody you think could be helpful in any aspect of your job hunting. That includes recruiters from organisations and any recruitment agencies that might be there, as well as fellow jobseekers that might know about any job leads, etc.

Bring a CV

Actually, bring several. Be canny and have several different versions of your CV to hand over to different types of organisation – or even designed for individual organisations – again based on your pre-event research. (Drop in keywords or phrases they use to make an even greater impression.)

Follow-up

Don’t waste the contacts you’ve made. A follow-up thanking them for their time at the event looks efficient and professional. Furthermore, it’s a great opportunity for you to restate your interest in the company/organisation and enquire about your next move.